The Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Ocracoke and the Outer Banks will open for visitors on May 16. Photo: C. Leinbach

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Hyde County, in coordination with Dare and Currituck Counties, will lift the restrictions on Ocracoke entry for visitors at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 16. This decision follows the announcement by Gov. Roy Cooper Tuesday modifying North Carolina’s Stay at Home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions.

Entry for visitors on May 16 includes Ocracoke, the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Manteo; Hatteras Island; Roanoke Island; the Dare mainland and the Currituck County Outer Banks.

Opening for visitors on May 16 will allow seven days from now until then for local businesses, attractions, and accommodations providers to prepare for the arrival of visitors following the new business operating requirements put in place by the new executive order.

Entry restrictions for visitors to mainland Hyde County were lifted as of 5 a.m. today.

Ocracoke non-resident property owners will be allowed entry starting on May 11. All non-resident property owners should bring their own supplies to sustain themselves in their homes as much as possible, including groceries, medication, paper products and other essentials.

Before traveling to the Outer Banks, visitors are encouraged to contact their accommodations provider to confirm their reservation and arrival plans.

As visitors prepare for vacation, it is important to remember that the coronavirus is not over. There are still State and local restrictions in effect to protect everyone’s safety that may impact the way you have vacationed on the Outer Banks in the past, including:

  • Social distancing guidelines are still in place.
  • Gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer.
  • Getting food from restaurants continues to be on a take-out or delivery basis.
  • Businesses, including grocery stores, have limits on the number of people allowed in the store at any given time based on square footage.
  • Personal care and grooming businesses and entertainment businesses without retail or dining are not open yet based on State regulations which are not determined or controlled by our local government.

Also, remember that the CDC recommends not to travel if you are sick or were recently exposed (within 14 days) to COVID-19.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to wear a mask or cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Like many places in the United States, visitors should expect to see changes in product availability as supply chain demand fluctuates across the nation. If possible, visitors should bring essentials with them, including paper products and non-perishable groceries.

Updated information about Hyde County Mainland entry is available at Update information on Ocracoke entry can be found Comprehensive information and resources related to the coronavirus can be found at

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