Resources & Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated: December 9, 2020, 3:24 PM
Like you, we are continually monitoring the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) across the country, and within our destination. In the interest of public health, our cities are working closely with the authorities to ensure the wellbeing of our citizens and guests.
We ask that you adhere to your home state’s guidelines, especially regarding stay-at-home orders.
On December 9, Governor Kay Ivey extended the current health order—including the wearing of face masks—through Friday, January 22.
- Wearing a mask/face covering is mandatory in Alabama. These can be factory-made, homemade, or improvised from household items such as scarves, bandanas, or t-shirts, and must cover the nose and mouth.
- Masks or face coverings must be worn when you are within six (6) feet of a person from another household in all indoor spaces open to the general public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service (including buses, taxis, Lyft and Uber), or outdoor public spaces where 10 or more people are gathered.
- There are five categories of exceptions. The largest category, exceptions for “practical necessity,” covers people or situations where mask use is incompatible with the realities of life—for example, children six or younger, people with certain medical conditions or disabilities, eating and drinking, medical and dental procedures, and so on. There are also categories of exceptions for exercise, for communicating with an audience, and for certain essential job functions. An additional category carves out narrow exceptions for protected activities like voting and religious worship— but even then, wearing a mask is strongly encouraged. Full details on exceptions can be found in the order and FAQ.
- There can be a $500 fine for not wearing a mask.
- All restaurants, bars, breweries and similar establishments (such as ice cream shops and coffee shops) can open to dine-in customers. These businesses must limit any party size to no more than 8 people, must ensure social distancing between tables unless tables are separated by solid partitions such as plexiglass that as large as possible and impermeable to respiratory droplets or aerosols. They must also require employees to wear face masks, and do away with self-service options like drink stations, buffets and salad bars.
- Athletic facilities including fitness centers, yoga studios and other group exercise class facilities can open at normal capacity provided customers maintain 6-foot social distancing unless customers are wearing masks and are separated by curtains or other partitions such as plexiglass. Recreational water facilities (sauna, hot tub, showers, etc.) are to remain closed.
The following guidelines are still in effect:
- All public and private beaches along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, including Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and the Fort Morgan peninsula, are open. Anyone using the beach must maintain 6-foot distancing from other people, except those in your own household group. Normal use of the beach – chairs, umbrellas, etc. – is allowed. There are no limitations on numbers of people allowed to gather, but 6-foot social distancing between people from different households must be enforced Beach reopening frequently asked questions.
- The CDC and most states recommend you avoid all non-essential travel. As we are a small destination with limited healthcare resources, we strongly encourage you to adhere to your home state’s guidelines, especially regarding stay-at-home orders and not traveling to other destinations to quarantine.
- Pools at hotels and condominiums may be open. However, there still should be no gatherings of more than ten people and they must always maintain 6-foot social distancing at all times. Hotel and condominium properties may implement their own policies to best manage pool access.
- Charter fishing is open, but boats must keep those clients 6-feet apart. Charter operators must also regularly disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.
- All public boat launches and waterways in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are open, as are all recreational trails, public fishing piers, golf courses, and boating. People are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing and stay at least six feet from each other.
- Hair salons and barbershops; nail, waxing and tanning salons; spa and massage therapy facilities; and body art and tattoo studios can open.
- Entertainment venues and attractions can reopen and must enforce social distancing requirements of 6 feet between people not of the same household. This included bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, tourist attractions such as museums and planetariums, racetracks, commercial or public playgrounds, casinos and bingo halls.
- Indoor and enclosed entertainment venues and attractions can reopen at 50% of normal capacity. Night clubs fall under guidelines for restaurants and bars (see below).
- Outdoor entertainment venues and attractions can reopen and must limit visitors to an amount that complies with 6-foot social distancing requirements.
- All employees must wear face coverings when interacting with the public.
- Full guidelines can be found in the Alabama Dept. of Public Health’s Guidelines for Entertainment Venues and Tourist Attractions.
- Day and overnight camps can be held, but 6-foot social distancing must be enforced; camp employees must wear face coverings when interacting with campers and guests; and group activities must follow the same guidelines as listed for team athletic activities; additional requirements can be found in the Alabama Dept. of Public Health’s Guidelines for Day and Overnight Youth Camps.
View the official health order here.
According to the State of Alabama’s “Safer at Home” order, team athletic activities for adult and youth sports may hold practices (conditioning, skill drills and similar activities), and sporting events and competitions can proceed with social distancing. All players, coaches and officials must wear facial coverings at all times except when participating in the athletic activity.
Alabama Dept. of Public Health’s Guidelines for Adult and Youth Athletic Activities.
The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission team is working closely with city officials, facilities and sports event planners regarding the status of upcoming events in response to COVID-19. If you have plans to attend a sporting event and have questions or concerns, please contact the event planner directly.
Conferences & Meetings
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach sales team is available and ready to work with planners to ensure they have the resources needed for future meeting planning or rescheduling a planned event. You may contact your hotel or meeting facility directly with any questions or concerns regarding cancellations and postponements resulting from COVID-19 outbreak.