Cape Businesses Hold Steady After New Travel Order

BARNSTABLE – Cape Cod businesses are trying to adapt to Governor Charlie Baker’s latest travel restrictions.

The order, effective as of last week, requires travelers coming into Massachusetts from states that are not considered “low risk” to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form, and to either quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative coronavirus test conducted up to 72 hours before entering the state.

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross explained that the new mandates from Massachusetts took effect right in the middle of the Cape’s peak season for tourism and travel.

That led to future visitors reaching out to local businesses to make sure what the order meant to their travel plans.

“It provided some clarity,” Northcross said, “but it still created confusion in the marketplace.”

With that confusion has come many questions from visitors, Northcross added, that businesses have had to answer.

While educating people about the travel orders has created some additional work, she said that the mandate was passed down to keep local businesses open and people safe.

Hotels and other hospitality establishments saw some cancelled reservations at first before regaining those lost reservations.

Northcross attributed the increase in new reservation to travelers from low risk states who felt more comfortable with traveling to the Cape.

As the dog days of summer continue and the first day of school for many students has been pushed back, Northcross is hopeful that local commerce and tourism can thrive.

She said that data taken in by the chamber from multiple sources shows a high level of customer confidence. People within Massachusetts are not cancelling vacation trips, and they are more comfortable with traveling within the state.

Positive health trends within the region are also a good sign, but Northcross stressed that it is still hard to predict the future at this time.

“Can’t promise anything, but I think we’re feeling much more optimistic than maybe we would’ve two or three months ago,” she said.

Northcross emphasized the importance of keeping up with virus prevention measures such as social distancing and wearing face coverings, as doing so will keep people healthy and employed.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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