Block Island Ferry COVID-19 Information
EFFECTIVE APRIL 19, 2022 PASSENGERS AND CREW ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED TO WEAR A FACE MASK INSIDE OR OUTSIDE ON THE BLOCK ISLAND FERRY.
THE U.S. COAST GUARD HAS SUSPENDED THE FEDERAL MASK MANDATE FOR ALL U.S. PASSENGER VESSELS (Per USCG MSIB 02-21, Change 5). On April 18, 2022, the US District Court, Middle District of Florida, vacated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandate for mask wear in airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs as well as on airplanes, buses, trains, and most other public conveyances in the United States, including vessels. Per this ruling, the CDC has declared that the mandate is no longer in effect. Federal agencies are reviewing the court’s decision. In the interim the Coast Guard will not enforce the directives requiring mask use on public transportation and in transportation hubs. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.
COVID-19 UPDATE, AS OF December 20th 2021:
Following the State of Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines and recommendations, we will continue to sell ferry tickets out our outside windows in Pt. Judith. On Block Island our tickets will be sold at our indoor windows and we ask all customers to please wear a face covering while in the building as posted on the doors. Thank you for cooperation.
THE U.S. COAST GUARD STILL REQUIRES ALL PASSENGERS TO WEAR MASKS inside the passenger cabins & bathrooms. The Federal CDC has made it optional for passengers and crew as to mask wearing while riding on the outside decks of the ferry.
There are certain exceptions to this U.S. Coast Guard requirement, such as passengers who are eating, drinking, or taking medication for brief periods. All the exceptions and further details are found in USCG Marine Safety Information Bulletin Number 02-21 CH-2 (MSIB 02-21 CH-2).
As of feb. 1, 2021, The u.s. coast guard now requires that all passengers on u.s. flagged ferry vessels must wear a mask or face covering at all times (inside & outside).
in partnership with the town of new shoreham and the rhode island department of health we ask that if you are traveling from out of state that you review the department of health guidelines for travel. for the most up to date DOH guidlines click here: https://health.ri.gov/covid/travel/
We will continue to operate our ferry on our published schedule at this time. It is important to note that misinformation is often distributed through social media and third-party platforms. For that reason, we ask our customers and the traveling public to refer to our official Block Island Ferry website; www.blockislandferry.com for accurate and up to date information. In addition, if circumstances change, we will also provide ferry service updates, through our social media platforms (Facebook &Twitter), which will in turn refer customers to our website: www.blockislandferry.com that information will also be shared with the local media and other news outlets.
As we continue in the off-season, we want to remind our passengers that we remain vigilant in our COVID-19 efforts.
What are we doing?
Our top priority is the safety of our passengers and our staff. Our vessel and landside employees are continuing to work diligently to clean and sanitize our vessels and facilities. We are fortunate to have a dedicated staff & crew that allow us to maintain high standards.
We continue to maintain an adequate supply of cleaning materials and have hand sanitizers available our customers while traveling with us.
Our employees have been advised of the health guidelines put out by RI Department of Health and CDC and understand the importance of hand washing and wearing face coverings. Employees that are not feeling well are instructed to remain home.
As a beneficial measure, we have continued to work closely with the Block Island Medical Center, Town of New Shoreham, RI Governor’s Office, and RI DOH to coordinate our combined efforts and staying informed on the most current information and advisories.
What can you do?
Be mindful of social distancing when purchasing tickets and while traveling on the ferry.
Wear a face covering at all times.
If you are traveling with a vehicle you may remain in your vehicle for the duration of the trip (vehicle engine must be shut off).
When weather permitting, utilize outdoor seating.
Temperatures inside the cabin will be affected by the introduction of fresh air flow, open windows and doors. Passengers should dress accordingly for their comfort.
If you are traveling from out-of-state, please click here for the most up to date RI DOH guidelines: https://health.ri.gov/covid/travel/
If special transportation needs are required on board the ferry to and from Block Island, please contact William McCombe, our Director of Security and Block Island’s EMA director at (401) 675-1234.
Thank you for your help in this matter.