As Cape Cod readies for Fourth of July weekend, travelers want to know what’s open, according to Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.
“People still want to be clear on what there is to do, what things are actually open and available,” Northcross said during a press conference Thursday.
In response, the chamber posted information detailing what activities are currently available for Cape visitors, Northcross said. The information encompasses beaches, hiking and biking trails, drive-in movie theaters, golfing, fishing, lighthouses, and more. Visitors can also find out about cultural excursions such as the Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail and the Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail.
While lodging, restaurants, and personal services such as spas are open, visitors will have to wait for Phase 3 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan to experience museums, whale watches, and indoor historic spaces. Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Thursday that Phase 3 will begin Monday.
On Tuesday, Baker updated the state’s 14 day self-quarantine advisory to say travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey who enter Massachusetts are exempt from the rule due to declines in cases and new hospitalizations in those states.
“Incidentally, the states that are exempt from the travel advisory broadly constitute where most of our out-of-state visitors to the region come from,” said state Sen. Julian Cyr, who represents Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
In 2018, the most recent year for which visitor data is available, 92 percent of the visitors to Massachusetts, including the Cape, were domestic, said Cyr, and of those visitors, 59 percent were from other New England states. In the same year, travelers from mid-Atlantic states like New York and New Jersey made up 21 percent of visitors, and travelers from Florida and California made up 2.9 percent of visitors, he said.
Cyr reminded visitors of their personal responsibility while visiting the Cape, which includes limiting gatherings, washing their hands, social distancing, and wearing face coverings.
“Going into this long holiday weekend, which is traditionally the busiest we have, [we are] reminding the public that they need to take personal responsibility, that the public and our visitors have an obligation and a responsibility to protect themselves and protect others,” Cyr said.
Cyr called those who don’t follow the rules “profoundly disrespectful” to the hard-working people of Cape Cod, he said, because it puts them — as well as their own group — at risk.
“Businesses are able to refuse service,” Northcross said. “If they ask you to wear a mask and you do not, they have the right to refuse that service.”
Last month, the Cape Cod National Seashore announced that beach services would be limited this summer ahead of its official opening date on July 2.
“We’re asking that people take personal responsibility, that they have a little patience, because things are a little different,” Cyr said. “But we’re optimistic that the public will be able to enjoy a safe weekend if they’re taking personal responsibility, if they’re following the precautions.”
For more information about the Cape this season, visitors can go to ReopeningCapeCod.org, a resource created by the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force for both residents and visitors.