Due to COVID-19, if you are considering a visit to Salem this October and you do not have lodging booked or tickets or reservations purchased in advance, the City of Salem recommends that you postpone your visit until 2021. Special events planned for Salem Haunted Happening have been canceled due to the pandemic and all venues are working with limited occupancy and public health guidelines. Thanks for your help as we work to keep everyone healthy and safe. We would love to see you another time.
If you are planning to bring a group to Salem during October 2020, we strongly encourage you to contact us with the date and times of your visit, and to review the COVID precautions in place in Salem. We want to ensure your and your customers’ expectations are met, and that your drivers know where to go for drop-off/pick-up and parking.
Here is a quick list of things to note:
- Salem is in Step 1 of Phase III or the Massachusetts reopening guidelines. This means no indoor gatherings in excess of 25 people and no outdoor gatherings in excess of 50 people and restaurants are restricted to groups of 6 or fewer at tables.
- Masks are required in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors, in the downtown area and in our parks. Non-compliance is punishable by a fine between $50-$300.
- More than 50 restaurants in Salem have expanded their seating and/or curbside service into parking spaces, and some of these may affect bus parking spaces. Please contact us before bringing a bus to Salem this fall so we can identify the most practical locations for drop-off and pick-up.
- Almost all Salem Haunted Happenings events have been cancelled. This includes street fairs, food vendors, costume parties, parades, road races, film nights, etc. Some events have gone virtual and many have been postponed until 2021. Please visit direct guests to the Salem app for more information.
- If you are coming into Salem, please download the new Salem app and enable push notifications for the day(s) you are in Salem. We will share event, location, parking, and traffic updates throughout the month.
- Walking tours are capped at 10 participants and museums and attractions are restricted to 40-50% capacity. It is crucial that you or your customers purchase tickets or make reservations in advance wherever possible. Otherwise you run the risk of arriving in Salem with nothing to do or 1-2 hour lines to get into businesses.
- Per the Massachusetts reopening guidelines, tour buses are restricted to 50% capacity. Please review sector specific guidelines at mass.gov.
- Massachusetts has a travel order that restricts visitors from states that are deemed COVID high-risk. Please review the travel order at mass.gov/matraveler.
Changes to Overflow Parking on Fort Avenue, effective October 24, 2019
We make every effort to provide useful information for teachers, tour planners, tour operators and motor coach drivers. Each of Salem’s sites and attractions has its own regulations for groups, which you can find on Salem.org.
October is Salem's peak season. Please book your group tours as early as possible. Many attractions take reservations as early as a year in advance.
To accommodate all of the groups and individuals who visit Salem at this time, some one-hour spaces may be changed to drop zones and additional temporary bus parking may be created elsewhere in the city.
Please note: Some group tour policies change in October. Please contact the specific site or attraction for more information.
Click here for the Salem Motor Coach Guidelines and Parking Map.
To request print copies of the new Motor Coach & Bus Guidelines and Parking Map, please email Brittany DiCologero at email@example.com.
COVID-19 Group Tour Updates for October 2020
Group Size Limitations for Guided Tours
Each tour operator using a bus or other vehicle (such as a trolley, harbor cruise vessel, or duck boat) must limit occupancy at all times to 50% of the tour, vehicle or vessel’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the relevant municipal record holder
Occupancy limitations for boat tours using vessels with open deck space that can be used to accommodate passengers shall be determined in accordance with the formula used to set charter boat occupancy limits, outlined in the Workplace Safety and Reopening Standards for For-Hire and Charter Vessels
Tours of spaces for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record must limit occupancy based on the Indoor and Outdoor Event guidance on the Reopening Website
All occupant counts and calculations shall include customers and workers
Groups of passengers should be separated on the vehicle by empty seats. If that is not possible, vehicles should stagger open rows
Tour operators must limit group size in walking tours to groups of no more than 10 persons
Guides and guests should maintain 6 feet of distance and wear face coverings
Parking and drop zone locations are as follows:
15-MINUTE DROP ZONES
Washington Square West (2)
New Liberty Street at the Visitor Center (1)
Derby Street at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site (2)
Washington Square South (3) NEW! An additional spot was added here.
Congress Street southbound (4) NEW! An additional spot was added here.
Lynde Street (1)
Essex Street at the Ropes Mansion (1)
LONG TERM PARKING
Please note! Bus parking is no longer available on the Hawthorne Triangle at Derby Street or on Derby Street (3 spaces) near Liberty Street (2 spaces).
OCTOBER STREET CLOSINGS
Halloween Night - Hawthorne Boulevard, Derby Street, Washington Street, Essex Street, and Central Street, will be closed at approximately 5:00 pm based on public safety needs.
Please note: During October weekends pedestrian traffic may require the Salem police to close streets for public safety. Last minute street closings are posted on this page, Twitter, and Facebook. Please check back here for updated parking information, alternate route access, and street closure information.
For more information about visiting Salem with a group, visit Salem.org.