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Smart Vacations in the New Normal

Take smart vacations with Atlantic Vacation Homes
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Updated: March 1, 2021

Atlantic Vacation Homes is excited to welcome you back to your favorite escape. 

In March 2020, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts temporarily restricted lodging and other businesses to ensure the safety of our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commonwealth is following a 4-Phase Reopening Plan. Vacation rentals were re-opened in Phase 2, which started on June 8th, 2020. Massachusetts is currently in Phase 3. The Administration announced that effective Monday, March 1, 2021 the State's reopening phased plan will advance to Phase 3, Step 2 statewide

While many of the recent Covid-19 policies and procedures are consistent with the state's guidelines, there are some local regulations that you will also need to "know before you go."  There are also some Atlantic Vacation Homes​ policies that have changed for this year. We have put together this page as a handy resource for you as you plan your next vacation.

Vacation Smart: Use this guide to plan your next Atlantic Vacation Homes vacation as we begin "the new normal." 

Guests From Out-of-State 

Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders. All visitors entering Massachusetts who do not meet an exemption, including returning residents, are required to:

  • Complete the online Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival.
  • Quarantine for 14 days -OR- produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.  
  • If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
  • Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.

You are exempt from these requirements if you are you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public HealthCheck the current list. Note that the list of low-risk states is subject to change at any time. All persons are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19. 

Lodging operators are required to inform guests both at the time a reservation is made and at check-in of the Commonwealth’s current travel order and the guests’ obligation to quarantine for fourteen days after arrival or until they receive a negative COVID test result unless they meet certain limited exceptions.  

Updated Check-in and Check-Out Times

All Atlantic Vacation Homes rentals allow for "remote check-in" at the property. For 2020, we have adjusted our check-in and check-out times to accommodate our extensive cleaning protocols. Check-in will be at 4 pm (and not 3 pm). Check-out will be at 9 am (not 10 am). Our ability to accept early check-in or late check-outs will be limited. We appreciate your cooperation and consideration in honoring our check-in and check-out times. View our policies on checking in and checking out.

Masks or Face Coverings

Governor Baker issued an updated Face Covering order to go into effect at 12:01 am on November 6, 2020, that requires everyone above the age of 5 to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in public with no more exceptions or no exemptions even when you can maintain social distancing.   View more information about the state's mask guidance.

For more information on current town-specific guidance, view the official town websites linked below.

What to Bring (New Info for 2021)

In addition to masks or face coverings for each person in your group, Atlantic Vacation Homes is asking guests to bring their own beach towels this year. You do not need to bring linens, blankets, or bath towels. View the complete list of what is included in your vacation rental and what you need to bring with you.

Cleaning and Safety

VRMA / VRHP SafeHome Program Atlantic Vacation Homes has extremely high standards for cleanliness in our properties and our goal is always to ensure the health and safety for our guests, our homeowners, and our staff. While we have always taken the proper precautions and employed comprehensive cleaning procedures between each guest stay, we have now developed even more rigorous sanitization and disinfection protocols following guidelines laid out by the World Health Organization, CDC, EPA, and the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP). Michelle Williams, Atlantic Vacation Homes' General Manager, is the Chairperson of the VRHP Council and is on the Board of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) and also played a key role in developing the VRMA's new SafeHome program, placing Atlantic Vacation Homes at the leading edge of the vacation rental industry's standards and best practices. 

You may also rest assured that our bedding, linens and towels are professionally cleaned in a commercial laundry that can provide the high water temperature, cleansing agents, and sanitization needed for proper laundering. Residential machines and over-the-counter laundry soaps are not the proper way to care for linens used for accommodations. We know this is an unconventional time, but we hope our commitment to providing the most well-maintained and clean properties gives you peace of mind.

Beaches & Recreation

Current beach and public park regulations differ per town. Privately managed recreational areas, such as Trustees of Reservations and Essex Greenbelt properties, are open and urge visitors to follow social distancing guidelines. 

Please note that a number of local events and festivals have been canceled or postponed. Some events may still take place in August and beyond. We will post more information on this when we have additional information. In the meantime, check Discover Gloucester's event calendar for updates on Cape Ann events.

What's Happening At Local Restaurants?

Restaurants started to provide outdoor table service at the commencement of Phase 2 as per the Commonwealth’s Reopening Plan and are now also able to provide indoor table service. Lists of restaurants that are open for business can be found below. 

What You Can Do To Stay Healthy During Your Visit

Your property will be clean and sanitized prior to your arrival. As has been recommended by many authorities, you can dramatically reduce your risk of catching or spreading the disease by adhering to these practices:

  • Frequent (and thorough) handwashing; basic soap and water and alcohol-based hand sanitizers both work to kill viruses that may be on your hands
  • Social distancing in public (staying 6 or more feet apart)
  • Wearking masks or other face coverings
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.

Atlantic Vacation Homes is committed to providing a clean, comfortable, and safe atmosphere where our valued guests can relax and finally have the vacation they deserve. 


Atlantic Vacation Homes Atlantic Vacation Homes is the premier vacation home rental & real estate company on Boston's North Shore, with over 30 years of creating dream vacations for our guests. Situated a little more than a half-hour’s drive from downtown Boston, the North Shore is the ideal spot for an east coast vacation. We specialize in coastal vacation rentals for families, large groups, and anyone else who wants a beach vacation in Massachusetts.