Here is a list of answers to frequently asked questions for visitors and part-time residents about travel and testing during the coronavirus emergency. It will be updated as new information becomes available. If you have a question that you would like answered, email and we will try to answer it in this column.

Current information on restaurants and other businesses that are operating can be found in What's Open, What's Closed on Martha's Vineyard.

What are the rules for people arriving from out of state?

Anyone arriving in Massachusetts is required to fill out a Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a state determined to be lower risk or can produce proof of a negative Covid-19 test administered not more than 72 hours before arrival. As of Dec.  9, only Hawaii was considered lower risk. Anyone failing to comply is subject to a fine of up to $500 a day.

Are ferries running normally?

Steamship Authority ferries are running daily from early morning to late evening. For up-to-date schedules, visit  Patriot Party Boats runs a year-round passenger and small freight shuttle between Falmouth and Oak Bluffs, and offers after-hours water taxi service (

Where can I stay?

Hotels, inns and lodging services like Airbnb are open and allowed to operate with strict cleaning requirements in place. They are also required to inform guests at the time of reservation and at the time of check in of the 14-day quarantine requirement and travel form for most out-of-state travelers. Minimum periods of separation between rentals are also required for lodging services. 

Will I be welcome when I get to the Island?

Yes, as long as you join the Island community in observing state and local guidelines, including wearing masks in public, social distancing at all times and keeping dogs on leashes. Effective Nov. 6, everyone in Massachusetts is required to wear a face covering in public, even when they are six feet or more from another person. An advisory from Gov. Charlie Baker effective Nov. 6 also limits the size of gatherings and asks people to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Are restaurants open?

Many Island restaurants are open for carry-out and outdoor dining, with a smaller number offering limited indoor dining with strict social distancing. A few offer home delivery. Some seasonal restaurants have closed or have limited their hours. Our feature, What’s Open and What’s Closed on Martha’s Vineyard, is updated daily.

What about grocery stores, shops and farm stands?

All the Island grocery stores are open except for Up-Island Cronig’s. Face coverings are required for all market attendees. Many Island farmstands are open with different rules for ordering and pickup.  Pharmacies and most retail stores are also open.

Are buses and taxis operating?

Vineyard Transit Authority buses run seven days a week. The VTA sanitizes its buses daily and has hand sanitizer stations aboard each vehicle. Schedules are posted at

Taxi services also are operating. Masks are required on all bus, taxi and share rides such as Lyft and Uber.

Are public restrooms available?

Yes, there are public restrooms in each of the Island towns. The Steamship Authority bathrooms are available year-round.

Are Island trails open for hiking?

Properties managed by the Land Bank, Sheriff’s Meadow and the Trustees of Reservation are all open for hiking. Hikers must follow posted rules and stay at least six feet from others. Dogs must be leashed. Some deer hunting is permitted through December, so woodland walkers should be aware, stick to main trails and wear brightly colored clothing, especially in the early morning and near dusk.

What about going to the beach?

Massachusetts beaches are open with restrictions including at least 12 feet between groups. Masks are required while entering and exiting beaches. 

What other activities have been affected by the pandemic?

Golf courses and tennis courts are open, with social distancing required. Charter fishing is permitted, but there are limits on the number of people on boats. Houses of worship are open, although most are still holding services online. Two movie theaters are open, with strict capacity limits and mask requirements. Hair salons, nail services and pet groomers are open, again with restrictions. Island library buildings remain closed, but are offering contact-less pickup of books and other materials.

I understand there is testing available for Covid-19 on the Island?

Yes, thanks to a partnership among Quest Diagnostics, Island Health Care and the Island boards of health, TestMV is offering self-administered drive-through screening for people without symptoms at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School by appointment to any resident or visitor to the Island. More information on the program is available here. To schedule a test, call 877-336-9855.

Does the test cost money?

No. Most insurance providers are required to fully cover the cost of the test. For those without insurance, funding is available thanks to the Martha’s Vineyard Bank to ensure that anyone who wants a test can receive one without payment.

What happens if I test positive?

Patients who test positive will be contacted by a contact tracer or their local board of health via telephone. The contact tracer will guide the patient through a series of questions, hoping to identify close contacts. Positive patients will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days, or until released from monitoring by public health officials. During this period, positive patients cannot go to public spaces, including the grocery store, and patients are only allowed to leave isolation to seek medical attention. Resources are in place through volunteer groups and Island Health Care to help provide essential services for people who need to isolate, including grocery shopping and food delivery.

What should I do if I show symptoms of Covid-19?

If you experience symptoms of Covid-19 and don’t have a primary care physician on Island, call the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital's call center at 508-684-4500, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. The hospital is testing symptomatic patients and their close-contacts for the virus.