As you well know, the corona virus has significantly impacted the travel and tourism industry. Our WeNeedaVacation team is doing everything we can to provide you, our homeowners, with as much information and guidance as possible, while still allowing YOU to make your own decisions.
New questions arise each day as the situation evolves. Our goal is to provide resources and options for you to consider as you adapt to these new circumstances.
Below are links directing you to specific topics of interest, as well as helpful online resources. We update this page regularly with pertinent news items.
April 21, 2021 – As of Monday, March 22, the MA Travel Order has been replaced with a Travel Advisory. The MA Travel Form and lower-risk states map are no longer in effect. Read the full MA Travel Advisory.
April 6, 2021 – The US CDC has updated its guidance for cleaning and disinfecting facilities and homes to prevent the spread of Covid-19. According to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the science has shown that people can get infected via contaminated surfaces, but the risk is low. Regular cleaning of these surfaces with soap or detergent works, and disinfection is not necessary. Indoor disinfecting is only necessary if there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID within 24 hours. In most cases, fogging, fumigation and electrostatic spraying is not recommended as a primary method of disinfection, and actually carries several safety risks.
March 11, 2021 – The Massachusetts travel order has been updated to include those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. They now do not need to obtain a negative test prior to traveling to Mass., nor do they need to quarantine after their arrival. For full details, go to the Mass Travel Form section about Designated Exceptions to the Travel Order.
February 27, 2021 – Mass. advances to Step 2 of Phase III on March 1, and Phase IV is planned to start March 22. For the full COVID-19 Update from the Baker-Polito Administration, read more.
September 22, 2020 – Gov. Baker recently announced that the deadline for making lodging tax payments for the 2020 season has again been postponed, this time until May 20, 2021. Read more.
August 28, 2020 – Massachusetts has added four states — Colorado, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — to its list of low-risk states that do not require travelers to fill out a form, undergo testing or quarantine.
August 4, 2020 – Effective Friday, August 7, Rhode Island is no longer listed as a lower-risk state. Thus, any guests from Rhode Island due in your home starting Friday, August 7, are subject to the restrictions in the recent Travel Order, and homeowners must notify their guests of the Order.
July 24, 2020 – Hoping to keep the coronavirus pandemic from flaring up again in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker on Friday announced strict new travel rules that all people entering the state must comply with. The new travel order goes into effect Aug. 1 and applies to all travelers entering the state, including both out-of-state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home, the governor’s office said.
Under the order, everyone coming to the state must fill out a “Massachusetts Travel Form” and quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a state where the coronavirus risk is lower, or they can produce a negative coronavirus test result administered no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts, the governor’s office said.
Individuals who do not comply with their obligation to quarantine are subject to a $500 fine per day.
You do not need to quarantine for 14 days if you took a test for COVID-19 and have received a negative result. The specimen for the test must have been collected no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts, and the testing must be by a method approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Upon request, you must be able to demonstrate proof of the negative test result.
Travelers are exempt from this requirement if they are coming from a state that has been designated as a lower-risk state or fall into another narrow exemption category. Based on current public health data, those lower risk states will include: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Hawaii, the governor’s office said.
Read our Travel Order FAQs .
June 30, 2020 – Gov. Baker today announced that, beginning July 1, 2020, travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey arriving in Massachusetts are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days. All other travelers arriving to Massachusetts, however – including Massachusetts residents returning home – are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
June 20, 2020 – The Mass. Department of Revenue has announced that the deadline for remitting room occupancy for the period beginning February 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020, has been extended to September 20, 2020. Read more.
June 6, 2020 – As expected, Gov. Baker today announced that Phase 2 of the Mass. Re-opening Plan will start on Monday, June 8. View the full Mass.gov Update. Part of Step 1 of Phase 2 is the re-opening of lodging, including short-term rentals. View our post about some of the mandatory and recommended guidelines for short-term rentals set forth by the state.
May 29, 2020: Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced this afternoon a preview of the mandatory safety standards, recommended best practices, and a checklist for operators of lodgings, including short-term rentals. View the Preview. Depending on the results of health data between now and June 6, Baker will announce when Phase 2 will begin.
Out-of-state guests are still urged to quarantine for 14 days, but they are still not required to do so. Homeowners of short-term rentals will be required to comply with certain cleaning and other safety requirements.
May 18, 2020: Gov. Baker’s 4-Phase Plan to re-open the Mass. economy was announced today, and each phase will last at least 3 weeks. As of now, Lodging, including short-term rentals, is included in Phase 2 and may include some restrictions. Pending positive public health data trends, Phase 2 will begin Monday, June 8th at the earliest.
A Restaurant & Hospitality workgroup convened May 15 to develop procedures for re-opening, so it is expected that further guidance and clarification will be forthcoming. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Long-term rentals, of 32+ days are still permitted, and out-of-state visitors are still urged to quarantine for 14 days.
For more details on the announcement, view Mass.gov Four-Phase Approach.
To attend our next Zoom Homeowner Meeting on Wednesday, May 20 at 2 PM, please Register here. (If you registered for the first one, you’re all set and will receive a Zoom invite on Tuesday.)
Due to the high volume of calls and emails, we ask you to please trust that whatever information we have is, and will continue to be, posted here on this page.
5/14/2020: We invite you to attend our second Virtual Homeowner Meeting on Wednesday, May 20 at 2:00 PM EST! Join us via Zoom as WeNeedaVacation team members discuss the latest developments and ideas for managing rentals during this unprecedented time. The simple registration is open to anyone: Register here. If you registered for the first one, you’re all set and will receive a Zoom invite the day before this one.
5/11/20: Gov. Baker announced that the Massachusetts economy will be reopened beginning Monday, May 18, using a four-phase approach that’s based on public health guidance. “Businesses and activities with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission will open in earlier phases. Public health metrics will determine when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into later phases. If public health metrics worsen, the state may need to return to an earlier phase.” Vacation rentals have not yet been addressed, but more specifics are expected within the week. View video of his latest update.
5/1/2020: According to a new Cape Cod Times article, a local Cape and Islands legislative delegation has been created in conjunction with the region’s hospitals and chambers of commerce. Their recently-issued Guidance to Cape & Islands Seasonal Community essentially echoes Gov. Baker’s announcement of the extension of the stay-at-home order until May 18. But it also urges all who are planning to relocate or travel to Cape Cod or the Islands to take certain precautionary measures for their own health as well as of the local community. Note: Like Gov. Baker’s ban, there are currently no local or state-wide restrictions on short-term vacation rentals after May 18.
4/28/2020: In his recent press briefing, Gov. Charlie Baker announced the extension of the stay-at-home order until May 18. He stated, “We have plateaued, but we’ve stayed at a very high level with respect to hospitalizations around COVID-19.” He has also created a Reopening Advisory Board, headed by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, with the goal of reopening the economy in phases. No mention was made of short term rentals, although we assume that the ban on short-term rentals is extended until May 18 as well.
4/21/2020: Gov. Charlie Baker announced today that all Massachusetts public and private schools will remain closed through the end of the school year due to the coronavirus outbreak. “This is like the third or fourth quarter and we are holding our own here,” he said. “Don’t let the virus win the game. Play it all the way to the end.”
It’s highly likely that cancelling schools in MA for the remainder of the school year might result in an increase in families looking to rent a home on the Cape or Islands this spring rather than waiting until the summer. Keep in mind that the current ban on short-term rentals (31 days or fewer) only applies until May 4, although there is a strong likelihood that it could be extended further.
4/13/2020: Many of you have recently received the email notice sent by the MA DOR to all registered rental homeowners about Gov. Baker’s ban on short-term rentals. The language in the email is quite vague and has caused many to believe that short-term rentals have been banned throughout the summer, which simply is not true. As quoted in the actual Document, “This Order … shall remain in effect until May 4, 2020 unless further extended.”
4/1/2020: We are recommending that homeowners provide a full refund for any non-essential stays during the short-term rental ban, which currently runs until May 4th. Cancellation policies for any bookings for stays AFTER May 4th are at the homeowner’s discretion, but we urge you to relax your policy as much as possible.
3/31/2020: In order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, MA Gov. Charlie Baker extended the state’s closure of physical workplaces and facilities of non-essential businesses through May 4. Those facilities should be used only in a direct effort to fight against the coronavirus, such as housing for front-line health care workers, residents otherwise displaced by the virus, or to house essential workers.
Governor Baker said, “Hotels and Airbnbs can no longer be booked for vacation or leisure purposes. People should really be using common sense on this one, and should not be going on vacation right now.”
While the governor did not specifically mention those people who are coming into MA from out of state to shelter from the virus, he did emphasize the other day that anyone coming from another state must self-quarantine immediately for 14 days.
3/27/2020: MA Governor Charlie Baker’s latest announcement that anyone coming into the state (from anywhere, not just NYC) must self-quarantine for 14 days. This would apply to vacation rental homeowners who are renting their homes out now. Read more
Cleaning and Turnovers
- Cleaning Checklist: (In English) PDF File or Word Doc
- Cleaning Checklist: (In Spanish) Word Doc
- Cleaners Log: (In English) PDF File or Word Doc
- Cleaners Log: (In Spanish) Word Doc
- Visitor Log: PDF file or Word Doc
- CDC Cleaning and Disinfection for Households: Read more
- Checking in with your booked guests Download template
- Informing your out-of-state guests about the new Travel Order: Download Template
- Sample leases: Read more (login required)
- CDC Information on Coronavirus: Read more
- MA Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019: Read more
- Stop the Spread of Germs (CDC): View PDF
- More Printables from CDC: View more
- Vacationing Responsibly: Read more
- What to Expect at Local Beaches: Read more
- Beach Guidelines Read more
- Printable Beach Safety Rules (Cape Cod Reopening Task Force): Download PDF
- Getting back to the Cape & Islands RESPONSIBLY: View video
- What’s Open, What’s Closed on Martha’s Vineyard: Read more
- Open Food & Dining Options on Nantucket: Read more
- Face Mask graphic Download pdf