Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Salem, Massachusetts

Due to COVID-19, if you are considering a visit to Salem this October and you do not have lodging booked or tickets or reservations purchased in advance, the City of Salem recommends that you postpone your visit until after Halloween or October 2021. Special events planned for Salem Haunted Happenings have been canceled due to the pandemic and all venues are working with limited occupancy and public health guidelines. Thanks for your help as we work to keep everyone  healthy and safe. We would love to see you another time.

Click here for information on visiting Salem during October 2020. 

Massachusetts is currently in Phase 3 of a 4-phase reopening process.  Outlined below are dates when some business sectors are permitted to reopen.  Please note, this timeline may be updated by state or local public health advisories and all openings are at the discretion of the business.

Everyone in the state of Massachusetts is required to wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible (unless a medical condition prevents you from doing so safely), and people are requested to maintain a safe physical distance of at least 6’ when in public places.

Masks are required in Salem downtown and in city parks, both indoors and outdoors. Noncompliance is subject to fines of $50 for the first offense, $150 for the second, and $300 for the third. A map to the Downtown B5 District and all City owned parks can be found here and more information from the City of Salem on this emergency order is available here.

Updated Quarantine & Travel Restrictions as of October 5, 2020:

All visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow the new travel orders listed below. The Commonwealth has made great progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and gradually re-open the economy, and all visitors have a responsibility to help us keep transmission levels as low as possible.

All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.
  • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day. Please find more information below, including the list of lower-risk states, exemptions, business guidance and other details.

Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk States are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Traveler Form and do not need to quarantine. States are included on the list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below 6 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.  These states currently include CA, CT, HI, ME, NH, NJ, NY, VT, WA, and Washington D.C.

Lodging operators are required to inform guests both at the time a reservation is made and at check-in of the Commonwealth’s current travel order and the guests’ obligation to quarantine for fourteen days after arrival or until they receive a negative COVID test result, unless they meet certain limited exceptions.  Lodging operators are encouraged to post signage on their websites and at check-in with information about requirements for out-of-state travelers.

View a list of testing locations in each state here.

All travelers are reminded to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.

For more on planning travel to Salem during this time, see our COVID-19 FAQs or review an update from the City of Salem regarding October events.

Thank you for your assistance as we return to business and prepare to welcome visitors back to Salem.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Current Limits on Gathering Sizes

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts limits outdoor gatherings to no more than 5 persons in a single outdoor space and indoor spaces are limited to 25% of maximum permitted occupancy or no more than 25 persons. All participants in indoor and outdoor gatherings must maintain at least 5 feet of physical distance from every other participant in the gathering aside from participants who are members of the same household.

In addition, the following gatherings are currently prohibited: community, civic, public, leisure, sporting events, concerts, conferences, conventions, fundraisers, fairs, festivals, walk-a-thons, road and bike races and other organized athletic or recreational events.

Gatherings for purpose of political expression are permitted.

Businesses Currently Closed:

  • Cry Innocent (virtual programming)
  • New England Pirate Museum
  • Phillips House Museum
  • Salem Ferry
  • Stepping Stone Inn

COVID-19 Timeline

Phase III, Part 1, July 6 – Museums, attractions, harbor tours, walking tours, performance venues and amusement parks will be able to open with modifications

Phase II, Part 2, June 22 – Restaurants with indoor dining and personal services (nail salons, massage and tattoo parlors, personal trainers) are able to open with modifications.

Phase II, June 8 –  Accommodations, restaurants with outdoor dining, and retail will be able to open with modifications

Phase I, May 25 – Public outdoor gardens and parks will be able to open

May 18, 2020 – Massachusetts begins 4-phase reopening

May 7, 2020 – COVID-19 Visitor FAQ

May 6, 2020 – Masks or face coverings are required in all public areas where it is not possible to maintain social distancing of 6 ft. or more.

April 10, 2020 – Zoom backgrounds that allow you to bring Salem to your online meetings and gatherings

March 25, 2020 – Virtual opportunities to explore Salem

March 16, 2020 – Support Small Businesses in Salem by ordering take-out and curbside pick-up and shopping online

March 13, 2020 – Shop Salem Online

March 10, 2020 – Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, issuing an emergency order limiting gatherings, prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, and allowing only essential businesses to function across the state effective until May 18, 2020.

Additional Resources

Reopening Massachusetts

Massachusetts COVID-19 Resources

City of Salem COVID-19 Response and Resources