Travel

Cape Cod officials: Bring a mask and your vaccination card this season

Some Cape Cod businesses will require proof of vaccination.

Angie Wang
Angie Wang / AP

Travelers heading to Cape Cod this season should pack a mask and their vaccination card, said Sen. Julian Cyr, who represents Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, during a Cape Cod COVID-19 Task Force press conference on Thursday.

Though Gov. Charlie Baker is lifting virtually all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and gatherings on Saturday, visitors should still carry a mask, Cyr said. Masks will be required on public transportation, he said — trains, planes, buses, and ferries — and at some businesses.

“We do want to remind the public that business owners, at their own discretion, may still require masks to be worn on their property,” Cyr said. “We’re asking you to please respect that decision.”

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It’s also a good idea to have your vaccination card handy, Cyr said, because some businesses may require those as well.

“Particularly if you’re looking to participate in indoor group activities that have quite a bit of people — I’m thinking about dance clubs or busy bars,” he said. “I’m aware of a number of those businesses that are going to be asking to have people require to show your vaccination card.”

For example, visitors will need to show proof of vaccination to attend Tea Dance at Boatslip Resort & Beach Club, Cyr said. Tea Dance, billed as Provincetown’s largest outdoor dance party, opens June 3. Guests may show their vaccination card or a photo of the vaccination card for entry, according to the venue’s website.

“Several other of the larger nightclubs are [asking for proof of vaccination] as well,” Cyr said. “So keep a mask handy and have proof of your vaccination card because you may be asked to show it depending on the discretion of the businesses.”

It’s a good idea to check a business website for policy updates, Cyr said.

“Businesses have this prerogative,” he said about asking for proof of vaccination. “This is certain businesses. I think the vast majority of businesses are not requiring this. Going into a nightclub is different than going into a retail store or going into a restaurant, even from a risk and exposure perspective.”

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Visitors to the Cape this season will encounter “kind of a patchwork of policies” since rules may vary from business to business, said Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

“There are HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] rules, health privacy rules, that are very strong rules to protect privacy of consumers, but it’s been determined that a vaccination card doesn’t reveal anything technically private about you,” Northcross said. “It’s got your name and the date you got your shot.”

Many of the Cape’s beloved summer events, such as the Barnstable County Fair, Cape Cod Baseball League, Falmouth Road Race, concerts, fireworks displays, and Fourth of July parades, are “coming out of COVID-19 hibernation,” Cyr said, and visitors should check the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce website for guidelines and possible restrictions.

No matter what visitors do on the Cape this summer, Cyr said, a workforce shortage means it may take longer for service so patience is appreciated.

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