Coronavirus Visitor Info

What to expect when traveling to Wilmington and Beaches

Wilmington and our island beaches of Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville Beaches are under Executive Order Phase 3 with the easing of more restrictions while maintaining the mask mandate and other prevention methods.  

For those visiting our city and beach communities, we thank you for trusting us with your care and safety as you travel. We encourage you to travel and enjoy responsibly by practicing social distancing and other guidelines for your safety and those of our residents. Visitors are advised to contact tourism businesses directly with questions regarding admissions prior to travel.

State Continues to Ease Restrictions

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 204 lifting more Phase 3 restrictions. The order is in effective until April 30, 2021 to address the on-going public health emergency. Face masks or face coverings are required in all indoor settings if there are non-household members present, regardless of the distance away and when out in public or in public areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. This includes, but is not limited to, retail businesses, restaurants, lodging, transportation, etc. If you are able to safely maintain at least 6 feet distance from non-household members, wearing a mask is not required when spending time outdoors exercising or walking in our parks or on our three island beaches.

Highlights of Executive Order 204 include:

  • Increases mass gathering limits from 25 to 50 people indoors and 50 to 100 people outdoors
  • Fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants, and other establishments
  • Eases occupancy restrictions to three main categories: up to 100 percent capacity, 75 percent capacity, and 50 percent capacity
     
  • Indoors and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity; Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing 
    • Museums and Aquariums
    • Retail Businesses
    • Salons, personal care and grooming businesses
    • tattoo parlors
  • Indoors up to 75% and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity; Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing 
    • Restaurants 
    • Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
    • Recreation (e.g., bowling, skating, rock climbing)
    • Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, yoga studios, fitness centers)
    • Pools
    • Amusement Parks
  • Indoors and Outdoors up to 50% Capacity; Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing 
    • Bars
    • Movie Theaters*
    • Gaming Facilities*
    • Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
    • Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
    • Auditoriums, Arenas, and other venues for live performances
    • Sports Arenas and Fields (includes professional, collegiate, and amateur)
      *Movie theaters and gaming facilities may operate at up to 75% capacity outdoors.
       

Travelers are advised to follow CDC travel recommendations and contact lodging properties directly to confirm status and inquire about safety guidelines.

3Ws NC COVID Guidelines

Beaches Updates

The three island beaches are open and following state and CDC guidelines.

Lodging Updates

All lodging in Wilmington and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach are open.

  • Visitors are advised to contact lodging properties directly with questions regarding reservations. 
  • Information regarding the most recent updates can be found on the City of Wilmington COVID-19 FAQs page

Cleaning/Safety Protocols

Enhanced Safety Measures for Lodging
For hospitality businesses in Wilmington and Beaches, the health and well-being of our visitors and employees is a top priority. With safety concerns top of mind for travelers in the foreseeable future, many lodging properties are following enhanced safety guidelines provided by corporate offices, as well as guidance from respected industry associations such as the American Hotel & Lodging Association, U.S. Travel Association, the CDC, among others that are designed to provide a consistent set of cleaning and guest/associate safety standards. Many properties are also encouraging mobile check-in and check-out.

Please note that some amenities (pool, fitness center, food/beverage outlets, etc.) and services (valet, shuttle, bell service, etc.) may not be available or at limited capacity. Visitors are encouraged to contact lodging properties directly with specific questions regarding their cleaning and safety protocols.

Brand Hotel Cleaning Programs
Best Western We Care Clean 
Choice Hotels Commitment to Clean
Hilton’s CleanStay
IHG Clean Promise
Marriott’s Commitment to Clean
Radisson Safety Protocol 
Red Roof RediClean
Wyndam’s Count on Us

Other Hotel Cleaning Programs
Blockade Runner Beach Resort

Other Safety Guidance Programs
AHLA Safe Stay
Air BnB Enhanced Cleaning Initiative
Vacation Rental Management Association Cleaning Guidelines

Wilmington International Airport Safety Measures
Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is committed to making travel as safe as possible with enhanced safety measures, cleaning and disinfecting. Learn more about how ILM is going above and beyond to create a safe and healthy airport at ILM Safe Travels.

Count On Me NC

Count on Me NC logo“Count on Me NC” is a statewide public health initiative program. A joint partnership between North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, Visit NC and North Carolina State University, the public-private partnership provides specific guidance to restaurants, hotels, and other public-facing businesses on best cleaning practices and safety protocols. Centered around an evidence-based training program, “Count on Me” incorporates the best available science, and all training and materials follow a rigorous content development and review process. The program is also designed to empower customers to make a commitment to do their part to help keep everyone safe and healthy. Wilmington and Beaches travel partners have the opportunity to participate in training courses and earn “Count on Me NC” seals to display at their businesses. Find a map and list here of our Count on Me NC travel and related businesses who have completed industry-specific COVID-19 training, and check back for a regularly updated list.

Restaurants/Bars/Nightclubs

Restaurants in North Carolina and in Wilmington and our island beaches are open for on-premise dining with limits on capacity (75% indoors/100% outdoors). Breweries, wineries and distilleries can open under the same enhanced requirements that restaurants must follow. Face coverings for employees are mandatory. Guests are required to wear face coverings at all times unless they are actively eating or drinking. Bars can open at up to 50% capacity indoors and outdoors. Nightclubs and lounges are subject to same limits as bars.  Delivery, take-out, curbside pickup and carry-out food purchases are still viable options.  

Please check specific restaurant websites and social media pages, or contact the business directly to confirm what services they are offering. View our list of restaurants in the area including many with outdoor dining available.

Places of Interest & Things to do

Beaches are open for normal activities in Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville Beach. Public parks, gardens and playgrounds are open throughout the area. Wilmington's Riverwalk and Historic District are available for strolling. Retail stores, museums and aquariums may open at 100% capacity. Gyms, indoor exercise facilities, bowling alleys, skating rinks, pools, amusement parks, indoor basketball, volleyball, etc. may open at 75% indoors/100% outdoors capacity. Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, and indoor entertainment venues can open with 50% indoor/outdoor capacity limits. Visitors must comply with social distancing and group gathering protocols - no more than 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. As the easing of restrictions change, hours of operation and paid admissions will vary so please contact the attractions directly for information prior to travel.

Seasonal Travel & Trip Ideas

We will continue to share updates and resources with our travelers on an on-going basis as the situation changes. For future travel planning, please check out our seasonal trip ideas, and experience the sights of Wilmington and our beaches by clicking the images below.

Virtual Tours & Events

If your travel plans are on hold, immerse yourself in the best of our virtual experiences - from our home to yours.

Be well, travel safely and responsibly, and stay tuned.