Info on COVID-19 Safety Policies and Procedures
At Block Island Express, the safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking appropriate action based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Rhode Island Department of Health, Connecticut and Rhode Island Governors’ offices, US Coast Guard, and other state and local authorities. In order to maintain a safe environment for all, we have implemented the following Policies:
• Per Connecticut and/or Rhode Island regulations, customers are required to wear cloth face coverings while on premises and in order to board vessel. Please see Connecticut’s and Rhode Island’s Coronavirus website for additional information. https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus and https://health.ri.gov/covid/
• To minimize exposure, we highly recommend making reservations either online or through our call center. If you arrive at the New London Terminal with a reservation, our staff will be able to ticket you outside, limiting the need to go inside the ticket office. Our staff will collect the tickets prior to boarding.
• To allow for social distancing, we have reduced the capacities of our vessels in accordance with the Rhode Island Health Department recommendations. We’ve added signage and announcements aboard the vessels and at the terminals encouraging passengers to maintain the 6-foot rule whenever possible.
• We’ve increased the frequency of cleaning for all shoreside facilities. All vessel restrooms, food service areas, countertops, tables, door knobs, railings and other frequently touched surfaces are being sanitized between every trip.
• Our crew is deep cleaning and sanitizing at night while vessels are not operating.
• We’ve increased the quantity of antibacterial hand sanitizing stations on all vessels and shoreside facilities.
• We’ve Increased inventory of all antibacterial cleaning supplies and sanitizers
• Please follow personal hygiene recommendations from the CDC, and DO NOT TRAVEL IF YOU ARE SICK OR HAVE ANY OF THE CDC COVID-19 SYMPTOMS.
• We’ve developed and implemented a COVID-19 Control Plan in accordance with Rhode Island Department of Health emergency regulations.
• Our food and beverage service is complying with Connecticut and Rhode Island regulations and guidance.
Please follow these Procedures when traveling with Block Island Express:
1. Upon arrival, line up in the appropriate boarding line, in accordance with the spacing markings on the ground. All members of a household should stay together in a group; please do not get in line if all the members of your household group have not yet arrived.
2. Everyone must have an appropriate face mask in-use in order to board the ferry in accordance with the guidelines listed above.
3. When boarding the ferry, please stay together with your household group, move as far forward in the ferry as possible and sit together with no empty seats between members of your household group. Reduced ferry capacities will allow for an empty seat on each side of your group. Feel free to place your belongings in these empty seats if an adjacent passenger has not yet done so. Booths are reserved for household groups of 3 or more. Once you have selected your seats, please do not change seats.
4. Please minimize moving about the ferry (such as trips to the bathroom and snack bar) once you’ve been seated. Passengers are responsible for maintaining physical distancing at all times possible when moving about the ferry.
5. Please adhere to spacing and directional markings on the deck when lining up for the snack bar and bathrooms. If the line is large, please wait until it diminishes before getting in line.
6. Please minimize the number of people from your household group that line up for the snack bar.
7. Please do not use or line up for the snack bar or bathrooms while the ferry is loading or unloading.
8. When the ferry docks, unloading will begin from the rear of the vessel and move forward. Please do not stand up and line up until you see that the passengers behind you have moved 6 feet away. Please stay together in your household group and disembark the ferry together.
For additional information regarding the Coronavirus, visit the CDC homepage.
We will continue to monitor and respond as necessary to the latest updates from various agencies regarding COVID-19.
We look forward to sailing with you. Thank you for being a Block Island Express customer.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, smoking and the use of vaping devices are not allowed anywhere on the vessel at all times.
New Block Island Ordinance
The Town Council of the Town of New Shoreham does hereby adopt the following Emergency Ordinance III for purposes of protecting the public health, safety and/or general welfare of the Town which are imminently imperiled by COVID-19:
1. All persons on Block Island who are in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, shall cover their mouths and noses with a mask or cloth face covering. Face coverings are not required for people who can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other people except as specified in the following two paragraphs.
2. All persons on Block Island who are in the following locations shall cover their mouths and noses with a mask or cloth face covering regardless of whether they can maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other people:
a. all persons in grocery, pharmacy or other retail places of business; and
b. all persons providing or using the services of any taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing vehicle, launch, or similar service, or any means of public transit.
3. All restaurants offering dine-in services, personal service businesses, gyms, daycares, and places of assembly shall abide by their particular sector-specific face covering protocols for employees, customers and attendees as set forth in the Governor's Executive Order 20-40 and its supporting guidelines, regulations and any amendments thereto. Unless otherwise specified, employees, customers and attendees in such establishments shall cover their mouths and noses with a mask or cloth face covering.
4. Nothing in this Emergency Ordinance III shall be construed so as to require face masks or other coverings of those whose health would be damaged thereby or who are developmentally unable to comply, including young children who may not be able to effectively wear a mask. Nothing in this Emergency Ordinance shall require a store or other place of business to refuse entry to a customer not wearing a face covering.
5. Any person who violates this ordinance will be subject to a fine of up to fifty dollars ($50.00) for each violation payable to the Town of New Shoreham.
6. The New Shoreham Police Department is instructed to enforce the provisions of this emergency ordinance.