*Summary of re-openings*
May 22nd: Attraction facilities such as historic buildings & sites & miniature golf facilities.
May 18th: Recreation centers and close-contact businesses such as hair & nail salons, fitness facilities and spas. Public pools and hot tubs will be re-opening as well.
May 15th: Town reopens most beach & community parks including Coligny Beach Park (50% capacity), Shelter Cove Community Park and Chaplin Community Park
May 11th: Indoor dining at restaurants at 50% capacity and other safety measure.
May 8th: All boating activities approved to resume.
May 4th: The following orders have been lifted: Stay-home order, short term rental restrictions for new reservations from CDC hotspots, short term rental restriction from hotspot areas requiring self-quarantine and the dine-in restrictions for restaurants has been amended to allow on-site, outdoor dining.
May 1st: South Carolina state parks to re-open
April 30th: Hilton Head Island PUBIC beach parking & access (see note below regarding Sea Pines beaches)
April 24th: Sea Pines Beach Club parking lot reopens for property owners and resort guests
April 20th: Retail stores approved to re-open, to include:
- Furniture and home-furnishings stores
- Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores
- Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
- Department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
- Sporting goods stores
- Book, craft, and music stores
- Flea markets
- Florists and flower stores
April 17th: Public boat ramps and docks re-opened
May 20, 2020
Excerpts from the Town of Hilton Head Island email dated May 20, 2020:
Governor Henry McMaster Lifts Restrictions on Attractions Effective Friday, May 22
Governor Henry McMaster today announced that attraction facilities will be permitted to open throughout South Carolina beginning Friday, May 22nd. The governor’s announcement comes after AccelerateSC has been meeting for nearly a month to determine the safest ways to reinvigorate the state’s economy. Guidelines for attraction facilities can be found on the AccelerateSC website at https://accelerate.sc.gov, along with guidelines for all recently reopened businesses.
Examples of attraction facilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Historic buildings and sites
- Amusement park rides
- Go-Kart tracks
- Bingo facilities
- Miniature golf facilities
Governor McMaster also announced that youth and adult sports leagues will be allowed to begin practicing on May 30th, with competitive play resuming on June 15th.
Wear a Mask
Town Council passed a resolution Tuesday urging everyone to wear a mask or face covering when you are out and about in public. The CDC and other health entities have encouraged people to wear masks since this pandemic started and have communicated the benefits of doing so. Not everyone who has COVID-19 is symptomatic. Wearing a face covering reduces the chance of transmitting the virus to another person and vice versa. Face Covering Do’s and Don’ts and instructions on how to make your own cloth mask are available on the CDC web site at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html ”
May 11, 2020
Governor McMaster announces the re-opening of recreation centers and close-contact businesses such as hair & nail salons, fitness centers and spas effective Monday, May 18th while practicing social distances and proper cleaning measures. Additionally, public pools and spas have been approved to re-open on May 18th as well.
May 8, 2020
In a press conference on May 8th, Governor McMaster announced indoor dining will now be permitted at restaurants beginning Monday, May 11th at 50% capacity. Restaurants now have the ability to decide if they wish to re-open for indoor dining. Restaurants will have rules to follow if they re-open. No details on these rules at this time. CLICK HERE to review the Hilton Head Chamber’s Restaurant Task Force recommended safety protocols. All boating activities may resume immediately.
May 1, 2020
In a press conference at 4:25pm, SC Governor McMaster lifted the home/work order, making it a voluntary action to stay home effective Monday, May 4, 2020.
Governor McMaster also lifted 2 orders for short term rentals. The executive order restricting new reservations from travelers from CDC designated hot spots as well as requiring a 14 day quarantine from travelers from CDC designated hot spots have both been lifted.
The executive order restricting dine-in services at restaurants has been amended to allow for outside dining effective Monday, May 4, 2020. Restaurants must abide by office guideline provided by the Restaurant Association.
April 30, 2020
Generali Global Assistance (formally CSA Travel Protection) stance on COVID-19:
Excellent tips, guides & resources developed by DHEC: CLICK HERE
April 27, 2020
Governor McMaster extended the COVID-19 state of emergency executive orders for 15 days.
April 24, 2020
The Sea Pines Beach Club parking lot has re-opened for property owners and guests staying in Sea Pines accommodations. Restrooms along the walkway are open as well.
April 20, 2020 5:45pm
Governor McMaster has canceled the executive order closing public beaches effective Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at noon. Local authorities (Hilton Head Island Mayor & Town Council) now have the power to make decisions for Hilton Head Island beaches. As of this afternoon, the local paper is reporting the Mayor and town council do not intend to lift their order for closing all PUBLIC beaches & PUBLIC beach access at this time. On March 20th, they closed all PUBLIC beaches and access points for 60 days (May 20th) Please note, private beach access within Sea Pines (oceanfront homes & private beach paths located along each side of the oceanfront streets) is not impacted by these rulings and will remain open.
Effective at 5pm today, Governor McMaster has cancelled the executive order closing certain retail stores such as home furnishing, clothing, sporting goods stores, florists, & department stores. The social distancing orders remain in place as well as the executive order requiring limited occupancy inside commercial retail stores.
April 16, 2020 5:30pm
Governor McMaster has re-opened public boat docks and boat ramps for recreation and fishing. Following is an Island Packet Article with more details:
April 16, 2020 9:30am
The PGA has announced the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament will be held on Hilton Head Island June 18-23, 2020, “spectator -free” Click HERE to read the announcement on the RBC website.
April 6, 2020 6:50pm
This afternoon, SC Governor McMaster announced an executive order to “stay at home or work” effective 5pm, Tuesday April 7, 2020. To summarize the order, citizens must stay home unless they are going to work, engaging in outside recreation with appropriate social distance or obtaining essential goods and services (such as groceries, medication, medical care, etc). Retail stores permitted to remain open must now limit the number of patrons allowed inside at one time. CLICK HERE to read the order
April 3, 2020 4:45pm
Effective immediately, Govenor McMasters has issued an executive order banning NEW short term rental reservations from guest traveling from a COVID-19 hotspot based on the CDC. CLICK HERE to read the executive order
Governor McMasters has expanded the non-essential business closure to include clothing retail stores, sporting good stores, flower shops, home furnishing stores. The order does not include hardware and home improvement stores. We will add a copy of the order once it is available. These closure are effective Monday, April 6, 2020 at 5pm EST. CLICK HERE to read the executive order
April 1, 2020
DHEC (Department of Health & Environment) has closed all commercial/community pools until further notice. This closure will apply to villa complex pools and the Sea Pines community pools.
Newsletter from Larry Movshin, CSA Board Chairman for Sea Pines Community:
“On Monday, Governor McMaster issued an Executive Order closing (among other facilities) public access to our state’s beaches. The Order expressly states that it “does not impact the rights of private property owners living on beaches.” In light of this Executive Order, our Town Council voted to close all public parking lots at Town owned public parks and asked all gated communities to voluntarily close private access to beaches. Based on this request, The Sea Pines Resort has closed the Beach Club parking lot and all facilities at the Beach Club and will not allow beach parking at the Plantation Club. Since these parking areas are not limited to Sea Pines property owners, the Resort believes that they constitute the type of public parking that the Town has asked to be closed and has complied with that request. The Resort will allow walkers or bikers to access the beach through the Beach Club walkway. For additional information on The Sea Pines Resort operations due to COVID-19, please visit their website.
After careful consideration, CSA has decided not to close the CSA managed private beach access points to the Sea Pines beaches, including the Tower Beach Parking lot. I am writing today to explain how we came to this decision.
As a starting point, the overwhelming sentiment of our Sea Pines property owners who have written to me on this subject over the last few weeks strongly favored keeping access to our beaches available. They discussed their use of the beach for daily walks, bike rides, exercising pets, and just plain calming the anxiety in the open, fresh salt air of our beaches. We’ve also read many studies that recognize the vital importance of exercise and meditation in maintaining a healthy immune system. With COVID19 creating mandatory closures of health and fitness clubs, our beaches are a primary resource for both activities. And our beaches offer, even in high tide, a much wider “path” for social distancing than our leisure trails and narrow roadways.
This is a particularly important time for everyone to be a “good neighbor” in accessing our beaches. If you are going to the beach, be particularly mindful of the social distancing mandates and the need to limit groupings to no more than 3 people (other than in family groups)(please, no beach parties during this crisis). We strongly encourage you to limit use of the beach to exercising (including pets) and quiet relaxation; we expect our community to be mindful of the need for quietude on the beach by avoiding games and loud music that will disturb others who are seeking the beach for rest and meditation. And when entering and exiting the beach, be particularly sensitive to your distance to others using our narrow beach access pathways – please don’t crowd, but instead “give way” to those coming in the opposite direction.
Currently, we are keeping the Tower Beach parking lot open, it is only available to property owners and their accompanied guests (i.e. not public). It will be the only parking available to those Sea Pines property owners who live a significant distance from the beach or for whom walking or biking is simply not an option. Given the limited parking available at Tower Beach, if you can bike or walk to the beach, please do so. Effective today (April 1), we will only allow one car per property owner to park at Tower Beach at any given time – please don’t “game” the system by bringing a second car with your owner ID. We suggest that property owners limit time parked at Tower Beach to no more than two hours so that we can maximize the opportunity to access the beach for as many property owners as possible. Please be patient as we know there will be times when the lot will be full; exercising at “off hours” may provide an easier experience.
We are confident in our understanding of the needs of our Sea Pines community for private access to our beaches. We are also confident in our Sea Pines community’s ability to be respectful of each other in the way that our beaches are used during this pandemic.
Finally, just as CSA will continue to employ best practices in complying with all CDC, SCDHEC directives and government mandates, we urge all of our property owners, guests and renters to do the same. We will all be safer if we limit trips outside the home to essential business (groceries, food, prescription drugs), exercising, and practicing social distancing when you are out of your residence. If you are required or requested to self-quarantine, use common sense and good judgment in avoiding all contact with others in our community (e.g., use delivery services for food and prescription drugs and exercise away from others, in or near your residence). “
March 31, 2020 4:30pm
SC Governor McMaster issues an executive order effective April 1, 2020 to close all non-essential, close contact businesses specific to entertainment businesses, athletic facilities and salons (such as beauty parlors, nail salons and spas)
A question was asked during the press conference today regarding the length of executive orders. Answer provided by the Governor: State statute dictates the time-frame of 15 days or until the order is rescinded or extended.
Island Packet article providing more details on which business will be affected by this order:
March 27, 2020 4:45pm
SC Governor McMaster has issued a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine order for anyone coming into South Carolina from a classified hotspot for COVID-19 (currently New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of New Orleans). CLICK HERE to read the executive order
Statement from Town Manager Steve Riley in an email dated 3.27.20 at 6:09pm:
Self-Quarantine Order Enacted
“Governor McMaster signed an executive order today mandating that any resident or visitor coming into South Carolina from New York state, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Orleans must self-quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of their visit. These areas are identified as major centers of COVID-19 infections. Violators may be fined or face jail time. The order does not apply to individuals employed by airlines and individuals performing or assisting with military, healthcare, or emergency response operations.”
March 26, 2020 1:10pm
Another helpful website:
Stay-At-Home Order website Hilton Head Island is in Beaufort County. We are currently NOT under a stay-at-home/stay-in-place order
March 22, 2020 Grocery Store update
I was pleasantly surprised to see the produce, meat and dairy departments fully stocked once again:
March 20, 2020 (6:02pm) Grocery Stores
Publix (Palmetto Bay Rd just outside the main gate of Sea Pines) – fully stocked
Harris Teeter (Park Plaza Center outside main gate of Sea Pines) – fruit & veggies low to not available, all else ok.
Whole Foods (William Hilton Parkway) – low on eggs, dairy & paper products, all else ok. Truck scheduled for tomorrow to restock.
March 20, 2020 (3:20pm) Beach Access
Hilton Head Island Town Mayor McCann closed PUBLIC beaches and beach access effective Saturday, March 21st for 60 days. This does not include private beach access from private homes or the private beach paths in Sea Pines. To watch the FaceBook live announce click on the link below scroll down to the March 20th FaceBook Live video. Make sure to listen to the question asked at 3:20 (3 minutes 20 seconds) into the video where clarification about private beach access is permitted.
9:36 pm – portions of a letter to Sea Pines Property owners from Larry Movshin, CSA Board Chairman (Sea Pines Community)
“Mayor McCann ordered that all public Hilton Head Island beaches and public beach parking areas be closed for 60 days. … tomorrow morning signs will be posted at the Greenwood and Ocean Gates, at the Sea Pines Beach Club and Plantation Club Parking lot, and at Tower Beach advising the PUBLIC in bold letters that “THERE IS NO PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS AND NO PUBLIC BEACH PARKING AVAILABLE IN SEA PINES”. In addition, our Sea Pines Gate Staff will provide the same strong advice to each person purchasing a Day Pass for entry into Sea Pines at either of our entry gates. Sea Pines Security will also be regularly patrolling North and South Sea Pines Drive and streets that access them each day to assure that no Day Pass automobiles are parking or dropping off passengers at our beach access points. The Beach Club, Plantation Club and Tower Beach parking lots will be monitored by a parking lot attendant every day to assure that Day Pass cars are not parking in any of these private parking lots. We believe this is the most appropriate way to comply with the Mayor’s order banning public access to the beach and to restrict members of the general public from using private accesses to the beaches in Sea Pines.” please note this applies to public access only, not property owners or resort guests (our rental guests)
“In addition, we want to respond to the number of inquiries we have received from resident property owners over the past several days asking us to take additional steps to restrict entry into Sea Pines…We certainly understand these residents’ concerns in these unprecedented circumstances. On the other hand, we have not seen any evidence to suggest that day trippers or short term renters will pose a greater threat to the community than the non-resident property owners who may be coming to their homes from distant locations, or family members who will be visiting from other states (in some cases to allow our residents to provide childcare relief for working parents), or even the numerous and various commercial companies who come through our gates on a daily basis to service our properties and work in our commercial businesses.”
March 20, 2020 (2pm)
Photos taken by Todd at 2pm on March 20th on the beach in Sea Pines:
March 19, 2020
As of today, Hilton Head Island is still welcoming vacationers. Our beaches are open and restaurants are available for take-out/delivery.
Restaurants: To see a list of local restaurants offering take-out/delivery, Click HERE to be re-directed to the Chamber of Commerce Take-out Blitz webpage. (https://www.hiltonheadisland.org/takeout-blitz)
Gate Passes: We have suspended mailing complimentary gate passes since travel plans are changing last minute. We will provide details on obtaining your gate pass the week of your arrival.
How are you handling reservations in light of the COVID-19 crisis?
We are relaxing our payment terms knowing guests still want to make their trip to Hilton Head but are worried about travel over the next few weeks/months. Guests being offered the new flexible payment terms will receive the details via the Payment Due email which we send prior to the due date.
We have begun offering our guests arriving within a rolling 2 week time-frame (those arriving within the next 2 weeks) an exception to our cancellation terms which allows for a credit of the money paid towards a new reservation at the same property (please reach out to us for specific credit details).
All properties are professionally cleaned using standard disinfectant principals with special attention in the kitchen and bathrooms. We have added an additional step during our final inspection after the cleaning is completed to spray the property with anti-bacterial spray & wipe down all remotes, lights switches and doorknobs with anti-bacterial wipes in an attempt to take every precaution. Due to these extra measures, we will not be allowing early check-ins. Door codes will not be active until 4pm on your arrival day.