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2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SSA Employee Face Mask

Last updated May 17, 2021

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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• Watch a video outlining our COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures: COVID-19 travel information.

The latest 

• As we approach the summer season, please remember that masks are still required on board all Authority vessels and buses and at our terminals. Despite recent announcements from state and federal officials that have relaxed or eliminated mask guidelines in certain circumstances, there has been no change to the requirements that apply to travel on board our vessels. Travelers who stay in their vehicles for the duration of their trip do not need to wear a mask, but need to do so if they exit their vehicle for any reason.

• We are pleased to announce that, starting May 19, 2021, limited food and beverage sales will be available on Steamship Authority vessels! Our concessionaire, Centerplate, will be offering prepackaged food and beverages on a limited basis and only on certain vessels as they continue to ramp up their operations.

Initially, concessions will be offered daily on the M/V Iyanough, the M/V Island Home, the M/V Nantucket and on weekends on the M/V Woods Hole. All trips may not have concessions available, so please plan accordingly if you need something to drink or eat for your trip. Food and beverage service is not available at our terminals at this time. Also remember you may only lower your mask while you are eating either inside or outside. 

• Starting May 19, 2021, Nantucket/Hyannis Unaccompanied Vehicle Drive-On/Drive-Off Service will resume. The service will have the additional requirements: 

  • Any customer qualifying for driver’s services must fill out a wellness questionnaire.
    • If they do not fill out the questionnaire, they cannot use driver’s services.
    • If they answer "yes" to any of the questions, they cannot use driver’s services.
  • The driver is responsible for the cleanliness of their vehicle.
    • If the vehicle is overly dirty, the service can be denied.
    • A kiosk will be available where customers can get wipes to disinfect their vehicles.
  • All SSA employees getting into these vehicles will be wearing gloves and a mask at all times.
  • SSA employees will wipe down steering wheels, shifts, door handles and keys prior to and after driving any vehicles.
For additional information about the Drive-On/Drive-Off Service, please visit

EFFECTIVE MARCH 22, 2021: The Massachusetts Travel Order will be replaced by a Travel Advisory, the highlights of which are as follows. 
  • As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. 
  • Travelers are exempt from this advisory if they have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts.  If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test may be obtained after arrival, as long as travelers quarantine until a negative test result has been received.
  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours is exempt from this advisory.

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) are exempt from this advisory while they are commuting to or from or while at work.
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms are exempt from this advisory.

For more information, visit

• Our passenger ferry service is running as scheduled through June 23, 2021. We are closely monitoring traffic, however, and may make modifications if demand becomes significantly lower due to COVID-19, so please check for the most up-to-date passenger ferry schedules.


What are we doing?

With the news surrounding on the spread of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, changing at such a rapid pace, it is important to us at the Steamship Authority that we make it clear what steps we are taking on our No. 1 priority, ensuring the safety of our passengers and our crews.

Our crews already do an outstanding job of cleaning our vessel interiors in between trips, but we have instructed them, along with our bus, parking lot and terminal employees, to specifically disinfect all hand railings, table tops, door handles, seats, faucets, and toilets both in between trips and during trips as needed. We are well-stocked with cleaning supplies and have ordered extra hand sanitizers and other supplies for our customers to use while traveling with us.

We have put information on best practices regarding health measures on our internal Learning Management System for our employees. We also instructed our employees to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. And, most importantly, we have told them that under no circumstances should they be coming to work while they are sick, both for their safety as well as the safety of the crew. If any employee comes to work sick, they will be sent home – period. Even if it means having to cancel a scheduled trip, the risk is too great to take.

Although our operations are not ones that lend themselves easily to remote work, we are preparing to enact telecommuting procedures if necessary at our administrative offices in Falmouth. We are also making contingency plans to maintain service in the event that a significant number of our employees fall ill, but we have every confidence that we will continue to provide essential service to the islands throughout this time.

We are working closely with local, state, and federal officials to stay up to date on this quickly changing situation. So far, there have been no specific changes recommended for public transit agencies other than the best practices of instructing our employees to wash their hands, keep up a strict cleaning schedule and to stay home if they are sick. As guidance changes, we will act appropriately to keep everyone safe.

What can you do?

First, if you are traveling with a vehicle, please feel free to stay in your vehicle for as much of your trip as possible. We are lowering the vehicle capacities on our vessels to ensure there is adequate space to allow everyone to freely exit their vehicle, per Coast Guard regulations, while the vessel is under way.

If you are traveling without a vehicle, we encourage our passengers to spread out while sitting on board to maintain a safe distance from each other. The use of a cloth face covering is now required while on board.

Please take advantage of our handwashing stations in the restrooms and our hand sanitizers throughout the vessels. Staying clean is key to staying healthy.

Please continue to check our website for updates, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, our eNews and local media outlets. We will keep everyone informed of any changes that are planned so that our customers can continue to get where they need to go with as minimal a disruption as possible.

Most of all, thank you. We know the incredible stress everyone is under and we will do everything possible to get you where you need to go.

Detailed information about the Coronavirus can be found on the CDC website and the World Health Organization (WHO) CDC also provides information regarding Travel Health Notices.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has also developed a webpage with information on the virus.

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