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2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SSA Employee Face Mask

Last updated July 10, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The latest 

• Modified schedules to and from both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have been extended until July 30, 2020 on the high-speed route and August 9, 2020 on the traditional ferry routes.  Visit www.steamshipauthority.com/schedules for the updated schedule.

• The M/V Iyanough returned to service on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Capacity on the high-speed vessel will be reduced to 225 to allow for physical distancing while on board. Cloth face coverings are required while on board the vessel. 

• Per Steamship Authority policy and the order of Gov. Charles Baker, the use of cloth face coverings is now required for passengers while they are boarding, disembarking and traveling in an interior passenger area, including freight decks, while on board one of its vessels. Click here for more information: Steamship Authority announces face covering policies.

• Gov. Charlie Baker’s March 23, 2020 order (and its subsequent amendments) requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th does not apply to transporation agencies such as the Steamship Authority. 

We strongly encourage our customers to maintain precautionary measures, such as frequent hand washing, wearing a mask or face covering, and maintaining “social distance,” while on board Authority vessels and buses and at our terminals.

 NEWS RELEASE: Steamship Authority seeks urgent financial relief from the state

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• The Baker-Polito Administration has instructed all travelers arriving to Massachusetts to self-quarantine for 14 days. This guidance will be displayed by the Steamship Authority at its mainland ports, as well as by the state via posters at service plazas along 1-90 eastbound, flyers at major transportation hubs and on highway message boards. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempt from this requirement.

• Martha's Vineyard Hospital and Nantucket Cottage Hospital have asked the Steamship Authority to post a joint statement to residents and visitors of the islands. Please view the statement here

• Concessions sales have been suspended on all vessels and terminals. The decision to do so was made by our vendor Centerplate, with our consultation and approval, for the protection of their employees as well as our crews and passengers during the coronavirus outbreak. In the interim, please be sure to bring any food or drink you feel necessary on the boats for your voyage. Thank you. 

Policy changes

We have extending the time period in which customers can use a passenger ticket or vehicle reservation. The tickets or reservations are now good for two years from the date of purchase instead of one to allow for greater flexibility when rescheduling plans. 

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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