Salem Haunted Happenings COVID-19 FAQ

Massachusetts has been the center of one of the most significant COVID-19 outbreaks in the United States.  On May 18, 2020, the Commonwealth began a 4-Phase reopening process that does not yet have an estimated completion date and may be extended if there is a resurgence of diagnoses and hospitalizations.

As anxious as we all are to get back to work and see our visitors, the recovery process will be slow, deliberate, and data driven.  Phases are estimated to take three weeks, but may be longer depending on public health recommendations.

It is difficult for us to know what Salem Haunted Happenings will look like this year.  Here are a few things we do know:

  • There will be new guidelines for visiting and exploring Salem safely.
  • Salem will be relying on visitors to comply with our local public health guidelines and to take the Salem Together Pledge to ensure Salem Haunted Happenings is safe for residents, front line employees, and visitors.
  • If you are feeling sick (with a fever, cough, sore throat) or have been exposed to the Coronavirus within two weeks of your visit to Salem, please postpone your visit for another time. We look forward to welcoming you when you are feeling better.

The City of Salem and its business community are working hard ensure the safety of visitors and employees.  Please help keep Salem safe by taking the Salem Together Pledge following CDC guidelines and staying home if you are not feeling well, wearing a mask, and washing your hands frequently.

View an update released on August 4, 2020 by the City of Salem regarding October events here.

Current Traveler Advisories:

  • Masks are required in the state of Massachusetts for all visitors over the age of 2 while at any business (including outdoor dining when you are not seated at your table), and while outdoors if social distancing of 6′ is not possible.
  • In Salem masks are required in downtown areas and city-owned parks and playgrounds, including while outdoors, and regardless of social distancing. More information is available at
  • Physical distancing of 6’ is required in all public spaces
  • All travelers are reminded to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19

Updated Quarantine & Travel Restrictions as of August 1, 2020:

Beginning on August 1 all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow the new travel orders listed below. The Commonwealth has made great progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and gradually re-open the economy, and all visitors have a responsibility to help us keep transmission levels as low as possible.

All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.
  • 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. Please find more information below, including the list of lower-risk states, exemptions, business guidance and other details.

Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk States are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Traveler Form and do not need to quarantine. States are included on the list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below 6 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average.  These states currently include Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Hawaii.

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.  Lodging operators are encouraged to post signage on their websites and at check-in with information about requirements for out-of-state travelers.

Reopening Expectations

Please note that this timeline may be updated by statewide or local public health advisories and all openings are at the discretion of the business.

  • Outdoor gardens and parks have been able to open since May 25
  • Accommodations, restaurants with outdoor dining, and retail have been able to open since June 8.
  • Restaurants with indoor dining, and personal services have been able to open since June 22.
  • Museums, attractions, harbor tours, walking tours, performance venues and amusement parks are part of Phase III openings, which may have multiple parts, the first of which began on July 6.
  • Massachusetts will still be in Phase III of reopening in October, which includes limits on gathering sizes. An update from the City of Salem on October events affected by this order is available here.

We anticipate all businesses will have modified operations. Visitors may be expected to adhere to the following rules:

  • Reservations or tickets purchased in advance may be required
  • Capacity / occupancy may be reduced
  • Visitors may need to queue outside to wait for entrance to businesses that need to adhere to new occupancy requirements
  • Masks may be required
  • Rules and operation of public restrooms and porta-potties may be different

We are cautiously optimistic that October will be a fun celebration of fall and Halloween in Salem, and we are prepared to make modifications to ensure the safety of residents, employees, and visitors.

Still Unknown

  • There is a threat of a second wave of COVID-19, and if there is an increased number of cases in Massachusetts or Salem, requirements may change.
  • As we receive updates on events and business operations for October, we will post them here.
  • Please check on all reservations you already have to confirm arrangements and prepare to make reservations for activities and meals in advance of your visit.

Join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for additional updates and links to ways to enjoy Salem throughout the summer as we all get ready for October 2020.

We look forward to seeing you soon!