Do Your Part To Keep Everyone Safe.

The State of North Carolina requires individuals to wear a face-covering in public places. There are some exceptions to the requirement including for those dining in a restaurant, for reasons related to medical or behavioral conditions and for children under the age of 2. Governor Roy Cooper's issuance of Executive Order 204, along with the Eased Restrictions are effective March 26, 2021 at 5pm through April 30, 2021. The updated issuance covers all areas of Dare County including the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and the unincorporated areas of Dare County including Roanoke Island, Hatteras Island and Dare Mainland.

Before traveling to the Outer Banks, visitors are encouraged to contact their accommodations provider to confirm their reservation and arrival plans. Local businesses who have taken the Outer Banks Tourism Pledge are stepping up to protect others.

As visitors prepare for vacation, it is important to remember that the coronavirus is not over. There are still State restrictions in effect to protect everyone’s safety that may impact the way you have vacationed on the Outer Banks in the past, including: 

Is there social distancing on the Outer Banks?

Social distancing guidelines are still in place.

Are masks required on the Outer Banks NC?

Face coverings must be worn in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. Covid test results are not required to be presented prior to entry into the Outer Banks.

Are there group limits on the Outer Banks NC?

Group gatherings are limited to 50 people or less indoors and up to 100 persons outdoors. This is different than the small outdoor entertainment venue rules further down the page.

Businesses, including grocery stores, have limits on the number of people allowed in the store at any given time based on square footage.

What if my group staying in a vacation home is larger than the mass gathering limit?

Executive Order 181 requires face coverings to be worn indoors when non-household members are present and limits indoor social gatherings to no more than 10 people.  Vacation rentals containing guests from multiple households should comply with these requirements.

Are restaurants open on the Outer Banks?

Restaurants, breweries and wineries are open to 75 percent of the indoor capacity and 100 percent outdoors as long as they have the space to spread out patrons. Many restaurants are also offering the option of take-out and delivery. A list of the Dare restaurants can be found at

Capacity limits are 50 percent for bars. Last call for alcohol at bars and restaurants can also return to 2 a.m. under the new order.

Are attractions open on the Outer Banks?

Museums and aquariums can open at 100% capacity while following social distancing and other safety protocols.

Movie theaters, amusement parks can open to 75 percent of the indoor capacity and 100 percent outdoors as long as they have the space to spread out patrons.

Conference centers may open indoor spaces to 50% capacity with social distancing and other safety measures.

Also, remember that the CDC recommends not to travel if you are sick or were recently exposed (within 14 days) to COVID-19. Additionally, individuals are required to wear a mask or cloth face-covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial implement federal mask requirement for COVID-19 prevention and protection.

There are new policies and staff training that businesses have put into place to protect safety. But we're going to need your help. The coronavirus is going to be out there this fall, but with a sense of personal responsibility and a continuation of practices that have slowed the virus' spread (the 3 W's: Wash your hands more frequently, Wear a mask when social distancing isn't possible, and Wait farther back in line), we can enjoy the open spaces and natural beauty of the Outer Banks.