Coronavirus Travel Update (COVID-19)

Updated April 3, 2020

On March 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, directing non-essential businesses to temporarily close and all Michiganders to stay home or, when necessary to exit the home, maintain a distance of six feet away from others.

The order took effect Tuesday, March 24 at 12:01 a.m. and will last for at least three weeks, through the evening of Monday, April 13.

This mandate aligns with our proactive travel advisory intended to prevent non-essential travel to the island prior to April 15. We understand this is an evolving situation and remain in close contact with Governor Whitmer’s office to ensure we are making informed decisions that put the health and safety of the island’s community and essential workers first.

 

What are essential services?

At this time, we are following the guidelines issued by Governor Whitmer regarding the services deemed essential for the duration of this “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. Essential Infrastructure Workers include the following sectors:

  • Health care and public health
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
  • Food and agriculture, including delivery and carry-out
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works
  • Communications and information technology, including news media
  • Other community-based government operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical supply chains and safety
  • Defense industrial base

 

Are businesses open?

  • At this time, very few essential businesses are open to serve the island’s permanent residents only.
  • Businesses on Mackinac Island are operating in alignment with the guidelines and directives set forth by federal and state officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.
  • This includes the mandate issued by Governor Whitmer on Monday, March 23, directing non-essential businesses to close at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24 for a period of at least three weeks, through the evening of Monday, April 13, 2020.
  • It also includes Mayor Doud’s travel advisory against non-essential travel to the island, in effect through April 30, 2020.
  • Unnecessary traffic to the island by the visiting public puts undue stress on essential staff and services, including grocery stores, carry-out and delivery food services, healthcare, energy and more.
  • At this time, one restaurant, Mustang Lounge, is open only for delivery and carry-out service, at their discretion. Please check with the restaurant regarding hours of operation.
  • Businesses will continue to follow guidelines issued by the authorities listed above.

 

How will ferry transportation be impacted?

  • Ferry transportation remains operational to ensure essential personnel, supplies and deliveries are able to reach the island.
  • Unnecessary traffic to the island by the visiting public places undue stress on essential staff and services, including ferry transportation.
  • Schedules have been limited and passengers are required to maintain six feet of distance from others in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order.

 

How will air travel transportation be impacted?

  • Please contact Mackinac Island Airport and Pellston Airport directly for more information regarding current air travel policies.

 

Can I still access Mackinac Island via private air or lake travel?

  • While private travel to the island is still possible, Mackinac Island Tourism and the City of Mackinac Island are strongly advising against travel to the island for guests and non-essential employees at this time, in alignment with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order and Mayor Doud’s travel advisory.
  • This strong recommendation is intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the citizens and staff essential to the operation of the island.

 

Can we still visit Mackinac Island for the day and hike or bring our own bikes and enjoy the island?

  • The public is not prevented from visiting the island; however, Mackinac Island Tourism and the City of Mackinac Island are strongly advising island guests and non-essential employees to adhere to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order and abstain from travel to the island at this time.

 

Will this advisory be extended past April 15? Is Mackinac Island opening as scheduled on April 21?

  • It is our sincere hope that Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order and Mayor Doud’s travel advisory will significantly mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks and accelerate a return to normalcy.
  • Mackinac Island Tourism is evaluating the COVID-19 situation on an hourly basis, using the latest information provided by health and safety experts to make sound decisions guided by state and healthcare authorities regarding the operations of the island.
  • We will keep the island’s residents, staff and guests updated if any changes are made to this travel advisory or the island’s opening to tourism.
  • Mackinac Island businesses are determining 2020 season scheduling at their discretion with the health and safety of the island’s residents, staff and guests prioritized above all other considerations. For the latest updates, visit: org/2020-season-updates/.

 

Will the Grand Hotel opening postponement impact other businesses opening on the island?

  • Mackinac Island businesses are determining 2020 season scheduling at their discretion with the health and safety of the island’s residents, staff and guests prioritized above all other considerations. For the latest updates, visit: org/2020-season-updates/.
  • At this time, the majority of island businesses are planning to welcome our valued guests to the summer capital of the world as soon as it is deemed safe to do so by federal, state and local officials.
  • We continue to support our member organizations by offering the latest information available to guide their decisions regarding the 2020 season.

 

Is my trip to Mackinac Island this summer canceled? 

  • We are adhering to government-issued guidelines regarding travel and will continue to do so.
  • At this time, individuals with existing reservations and plans should contact their hotels and other attractions for the latest updates regarding this season’s schedule.

 

Have events been canceled or rescheduled?

  • Yes, select events have been postponed or canceled. For the latest updates, visit: org/2020-season-updates/.
  • Event scheduling and cancellations are the discretion of each event host. If you are scheduled to attend an event on Mackinac Island during the 2020 season, we suggest contacting the organizer or host directly for updates.

 

Will Mackinac State Historic Parks open as scheduled?

  • Mackinac State Historic Parks recently announced postponement of opening until May 22, 2020.
  • Please contact Mackinac State Historic Parks directly for more information on current plans for the 2020 season.

 

Will my hotel reservations be canceled? 

  • Individuals with existing reservations should contact their hotels for the latest updates regarding this season’s reservations.

 

If I’ve already booked ferry tickets, hotel reservations, tours, etc., will I be reimbursed? 

  • Mackinac Island Tourism is a member-driven collective of local business operators. Please contact the business(es) with which you’ve made reservations and purchases regarding individual reimbursement policies.

Additional Resources:

State of Michigan Department of Public Health & Safety: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
US Travel Association: https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/emergency-preparedness-and-response-coronavirus-covid-19?

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