Note: This FAQ sheet has been prepared by Vineyard Vacation Houses, vineyardvacationhouses.com, for the benefit of our rental guests and for broader use and reference by anyone who wishes to come to Martha’s Vineyard and has questions. We cannot be held liable for any of the information provided below.
Because the Gazette has published such a comprehensive list, we won't repeat what's there, but will give some abbreviated info below as well as information specific to our properties.
The Vineyard Gazette published a great FAQ which is likely the most up-to-date one available for Island-specific topics such as travel, local businesses, events, beaches and more. You can find this HERE.
GETTING TO MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND TO MY RENTAL ACCOMMODATIONS
How can I get to the ferry or directly to the Vineyard?
Travelers come to Martha’s Vineyard by car and bus to Falmouth, MA, as well as flights directly to the airport in West Tisbury. From Boston there has been bus service from Logan Airport and South Station via Bonanza Bus (also know as Peter Pan Bus Lines). Bonanza/Peter Pan, which can be reached online at https://peterpanbus.com/, expects to reopen on June 5.
Our arrival depends on the ferry. Is it running?
For current schedules and information go to https://www.steamshipauthority.com/schedules
What arrangements is the Steamship Authority making to be as clean and safe as possible?
Go to https://www.steamshipauthority.com/2019coronavirus for detailed information about the cleaning protocol for the ferry, the wearing of face coverings, and related matters.
Will social distancing be possible on the ferry, its buses, terminal, and parking lots?
Again, go the https://www.steamshipauthority.com/2019coronavirus for an explanation of the situation and the requirement for wearing face coverings. People visiting the island with their cars can ensure social distancing by remaining in their cars for the duration of the 45-minute trip.
How can I get safely from the ferry to my Vineyard Vacation House rental?
Visitors travel around the island by bus, taxi, moped, bike, and on foot. The Martha’s Vineyard Travel Authority runs the buses. The VTA has announced that it has no intention of reducing or stopping service during the COVID-19 outbreak. It says everything that it is doing is aligned with and based on guidance from public health authorities and the Governor’s Office. For detailed information go to https://www.vineyardtransit.com/.
Vineyard Vacation Houses, Sharon Strimling’s properties, are within walking distance of the ferries in Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven if you are traveling without heavy luggage. The Vineyard Haven walk is farther than the Oak Bluffs walk.
Consult specific taxi, car, and bike rental services for details of their responses to the coronavirus. Some examples follow:
Martha’s Vineyard Taxis, (508) 693-8660, with locations in Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and at the airport, reports that all their cabs are outfitted with partitions separating the driver from passengers. They sanitize the cabs between clients, only take single fares, wear masks, and require clients to wear masks.
Lighthouse Taxi, (508) 645-6066, has all its drivers and passengers wear masks. The drivers open the doors and do not touch luggage unless requested. If asked to load and unload luggage, they will wear gloves. Everyone sits in the back.
Budget Car Rental, (508)693-1911 has locations in Vineyard Haven and at the airport. Their Oak Bluffs office opens the week of May 18. All their cleaning products are now disinfectants, and every car is fully disinfected between rentals.
Hertz Car Rental, (508) 693-4196, with locations near the Vineyard Haven pier and at the airport, has cars sit 4 - 5 days between users whenever possible. When cars are returned they are immediately Lysol’ed because the staff must handle the cars. Then they are thoroughly recleaned with Lysol or other anti-bacterial cleaners. Hand wipes are installed in all vehicles. Transactions are touchless insofar as possible.
What arrangements are you making to sanitize the property?
At Vineyard Vacation Houses, our cleaning crew has undergone retraining for the sanitizing of our houses. They will wear masks at all times in the houses. After doing a thorough cleaning they will go back over all the surfaces using disinfectants to kill remaining germs. This disinfecting after a thorough initial cleaning will further lower the risk of spreading infection. Special attention will be given to disinfecting door handles and knobs, window latches, window blind strings, and any other areas that guests typically touch.
Will the markets deliver food?
Vineyard Grocers will take orders online and has delivery and storefront pickup services. Calls on May 11 to major markets on the island —Cronig’s and Stop and Shop — indicate that they do not plan to deliver groceries to people’s homes this summer. Starting May 19, Cronig’s will open from 7 - 8 am to serve customers 60 and older, to enable more social distancing for this group. Stop and Shop stores will open from 6 to 7:30 for seniors for the same reason. We would not be surprised if some online grocery delivery services open this summer in response to public requests.
Is there coronavirus on the island and in the MV hospital?
See https://www.mvhospital.com for latest information about infections on the island. Go the website and click on “coronavirus update” for further and updated information. There are currently two testing sites on the Island and there are tracking and tracing efforts to ensure as few people as possible are exposed.
Under what circumstances is my rental downpayment refundable?
Individual hosts, inns, hotels, and agencies like Airbnb and HomeAway have a wide variety of terms and conditions. Be sure to understand any contract that you are about to sign or reservations you are about to make, especially in times as uncertain as these.