COVID-19 Traveler FAQ – Destination Salem

We miss you!  Salem is not the same without visitors from near and far. As we prepare to start reopening this summer, we have compiled some answers to frequently asked questions that have been inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered here?  Enter it here and we will either add it to the list or respond directly.

Can I visit Salem today?
As of May 18, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is still under a state of emergency and non-essential businesses remain closed.  While you can visit Salem, very few businesses are open downtown. It is important to note, there are no public restrooms available at this time.

Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes. Effective May 6, 2020, everyone in Massachusetts is required to wear a mask or face covering when in public spaces where physical distancing of at least 6’ is not possible (unless you have a health condition that prohibits you from wearing a mask).  This includes walking, running, and cycling in areas where you will pass others.

When will businesses be open?
On May 18, Governor Baker issued a 4-phase reopening approach for the state of Massachusetts. Please note that this timeline may be updated by statewide or local public health advisories, all openings are at the discretion of the business, and each phase is expected to take at least three weeks. Find more information on the phased reopening of Massachusetts here.

  • Outdoor gardens and parks will be able to open to the public on May 25
  • We anticipate accommodations, restaurants, and retail to open on or after June 8
  • Museums, attractions, harbor tours, walking tours, performance venues and amusement parks are part of Phase 3 openings, which is estimated to be around June 29

Will it be safe to visit this summer?
Yes!  The City of Salem and its business community are working hard to secure personal protective equipment and make changes to their businesses that will ensure the safety of visitors and employees.  Please help keep Salem safe by following CDC guidelines and staying home if you are not feeling well, wearing a mask, and washing your hands frequently.

Are restaurants offering take-out and curbside pick-up?
Yes! Many restaurants are offering curbside pick-up and takeout. You can find the list here.

Are retail shops open?
Only stores that are deemed essential by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are currently open. Many of our retailers are available for online shopping, though.  You can find that list here.

I have reservations to visit this summer, will they be cancelled?
We hope not!  Non-essential businesses are currently closed through May.  If you are planning a visit in or after June, we recommend checking with the business directly on the status of your reservation.

What about October?  Will Salem Haunted Happenings happen?
We are waiting for guidelines from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be released to be able to answer this question.  We are optimistic that Salem will have some programming and activities this October, but they will likely look different than they have in the past.  Event organizers will make decisions specific to their events based on CDC recommendations and we will post all information on as it is available.

Thank you for wanting to visit Salem. While we all wait for the time when it is safe to explore again, please visit our Virtual Salem page and enjoy some of our favorite places remotely, and join us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for regular updates.

We can’t wait to see you soon!