Outer Banks Covid-19 Information


NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 204 went into effect March 26th, 2021, and outlines further easing of COVID-19 restrictions. We’ve outlined commonly asked questions about Covid-19 and visiting the Outer Banks below. The expectation is that visitors will familiarize themselves with local ordinances prior to their arrival, and continue to follow common-sense guidelines like frequent hand washing and social distancing just as you would at home. If you are sick, do not travel.

For frequently asked questions regarding Travel Insurance and Covid-19, please visit the Covid-19 link on this page

What additional cleaning and safety measures is Carolina Designs taking?
The safety of our guests, employees, and community is our #1 priority. We have established enhanced protocols as we prepare to welcome guests.

Notable changes include a 5:00 pm check-in time to account for additional cleaning measures. We can not accommodate requests for early check-in or late check-out.

Beds will be made with freshly laundered sheets and pillowcases. Pillows, mattress pads, and comforters will be misted with sanitizing product.

Please view this video,  which offers additional important information about our updated procedures.

Our group is larger than 50 people. Is that allowed?
Yes. Rental homes are considered private residences, and persons residing at the property during their vacation are permitted to gather. Social gatherings of people not residing at the property should be 50 or less indoors, 100 or less outdoors. We also encourage the use of social distancing and masks whenever possible. Please note that a lease addendum is required in advance for any special events with more guests than the home’s set occupancy. 

Are Grocery Stores stocked? Should we bring our own supplies?
Our experience as locals is that grocery stores are generally stocked, but if shortages for certain products occur around the country, those products may be hard to find here as well. If there are specific items you want to be sure you have on your vacation, consider bringing them with you.
View a list of grocery stores offering pickup and delivery here

Will restaurants be open?
Currently, restaurants are open at 75% capacity for indoor spaces to allow for social distancing, and 100% capacity for outdoor areas. For the latest information, visit the county’s FAQ page.
Many restaurants offer outdoor dining and patio areas, check them out here

Are weddings allowed to be held? 
Yes. For the most up-to-date information on ceremony and reception regulations due to Covid-19, please visit the Dare County FAQ page

Will I have to wear a mask?
In North Carolina, face coverings must be worn in indoor and outdoor public spaces when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Can we park in the driveway while we wait for our rental home to be released for check-in?
No. For the safety of our guests, cleaners, maintenance technicians, and vendors, parking in the driveway is not permitted prior to check-in. Parking in the driveway may delay a home being ready by 5:00PM. Need something to do while you wait? Check out our Things To Do page on our website!

What happens if someone in the rental home gets Covid-19?
Anyone believing they may have symptoms or feeling sick should follow local health department recommendations. A Covid-19 FAQ page for Dare County’s Health Department can be found here.

May I cancel my reservation?
Cancellations will follow our standard cancellation policy. If you have travel insurance, you may have reason to file a claim. Please contact Red Sky Insurance directly with questions about travel insurance. 

If I am due a refund, when will I receive it? 
If your canceled week re-rents, refunds will be sent in the form of a check within 30 days from receipt of payment from the new leaseholder.

If I can no longer come on vacation due to my home state requiring a quarantine after visiting NC, will I receive a refund?
As long as access to the Outer Banks is available, cancellations will be governed under our cancellation policy. Please email cancel@carolinadesigns.com as soon as you’ve made the decision to cancel your lease. If your canceled week re-rents, refunds will be sent to the leaseholder in the form of a check within 30 days from receipt of the payment for the re-booking.

If the Outer Banks closes to visitors again, can I cancel and get an automatic refund?
This pandemic has been an unprecedented event in so many ways that no one can say for certain what will happen. Refunds are never automatic, each situation will be addressed on a case by case basis. We promise to promptly communicate the most up to date local information anytime travel restrictions to the Outer Banks are put into place. As long as access to the Outer Banks is available, cancellations will be governed under our cancellation policy

What if NC’s governor orders a new Stay at Home order?
Nearly every stay at home order issued has come with conditions and exceptions. Not knowing what the future holds, we will address any future orders once they are issued. We will welcome you to the Outer Banks anytime we are able, and our cancellation policy will be in effect so long as travel to the Outer Banks is not restricted. 

The Dare County Emergency Management FAQ Page is also an excellent resource that addresses many common questions.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 – 1:00 pm

We have just been advised that both Dare County and Currituck County will be open to visitors on May 16th, at 12:01 am. Read the full bulletin here.

Our team will be in contact with incoming guests scheduled to check in on May 16th and 17th.

Our phones are extremely busy due to staffing restrictions and a heavy volume of calls. We appreciate your patience while we work with guests who are immediately impacted by this announcement.

Statewide, North Carolina will be starting Phase I reopening on May 8, 2020.

The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. We are implementing new standards and protocols as we prepare for guests to arrive to the Outer Banks.

We welcome our homeowners as they begin to arrive this week and look forward to seeing guests in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2020 – 5:00 pm

We are currently contacting our guests who were due to arrive May 1st – May 10th. Our team is working through a very heavy volume of calls and emails, and we thank you for your patience as we address each lease.

Non-resident owners are being allowed access to the Outer Banks. Read our blog entry from April 21st (below) for more information. The Currituck county website and Dare County Emergency Management FAQ page include important details about the entry process. 

A firm timeline for visitor access has not been set. Today, Currituck and Dare counties announced that they will work together to coordinate entry for visitors to the Outer Banks. Read more here.

Thank you to our homeowners, who have been integral in helping us find solutions for our guests. Thank you to our staff, who have adapted to this rapidly changing situation, and continue to work hard through these challenging times. And thank you to our guests for your patience and understanding while our team works as efficiently as we can.

Safety is our top priority; our operations team has developed the following Enhanced Cleaning Protocols.

For questions related to travel insurance, please contact Red Sky Travel Insurance directly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 – 5:30 pm

Dare and Currituck counties have outlined their plans for gradually lifting entry restrictions.

Currituck County (Corolla) will allow entry of non-resident property owners beginning at 9:00 am on Thursday, April 23rd. Specific documentation will be required, and the county suggests bringing your own supplies — visit the county’s website for additional information. The county proposed that visitors may be allowed entry beginning on May 15th. However, they will revisit the date for visitor entry at their May 4th meeting (6pm). May 15th is very tentative at this point.  

Dare County (Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head) will allow entry of non-resident property owners according to the following schedule:  

  • Beginning Monday, May 4 at 6:00 a.m. – Entry begins and is ongoing for non-resident property owners whose last name begins with A – I
  • Beginning Wednesday, May 6 at 6:00 a.m. –  Entry begins and is ongoing for non-resident property owners whose last name begins with J – R
  • Beginning Friday, May 8 at 6:00 a.m. – Entry begins for non-resident property owners whose last name begins with S – Z

Dare County did not provide information as to when visitors would be permitted entry. For the full bulletin, and for important details about the entry permitting process, visit the Dare County Emergency Management website.

Our office is open from 9:00 – 5:00, 7 days a week. All departments are accessible, including reservations, housekeeping, and maintenance. We are working to prepare properties for guest arrival, focusing our attention on enhanced sanitation and social distancing protocols.

You can read more about our enhanced cleaning protocols here.

Monday, April 13, 2020 – 4:00 pm

Bridges to the Outer Banks remain closed to visitors & non-resident property owners, and there is no indication as to when these restrictions will be lifted. The Dare County Emergency Management control group meets daily to discuss these restrictions, and they post regular updates and local information on their website

We are currently working with our guests that were due to arrive April 17-19th, and will continue this process weekly based on guest arrival date.

Our housekeeping and maintenance departments are still working hard to prepare homes for eventual guest arrival, although additional procedures — including stringent sanitizing and social distancing protocols — have been implemented for the safety of our employees.

Our in-office staff is limited, but our phone and email lines are open 7 days a week from 9:00 – 5:00, and we can be reached at reservations@carolinadesigns.com or by calling 800.368.3825. Please note that we can only address questions specific to each lease with the leaseholder. It is helpful to include your lease number on any email communication with our staff, and to have it handy when calling in. 

For travel insurance questions, we encourage you to contact Red Sky Insurance directly. Examples of covered events include job loss and illness. Full policy information can be found here

The entire Carolina Designs family wants to thank our local public health teams, as well as all of those serving on the front lines of this pandemic nationally. It has been amazing to see the Outer Banks community band together to help each other during this trying time — here are a few examples of good news coming from the OBX

We again want to express our gratitude for your patience as we work through this unique situation. We’ve missed seeing our Spring guests here at the beach, and we can’t wait to welcome visitors back when the time is right. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 – 12:00 pm

Good afternoon from the Outer Banks — we hope that you and your families are safe and well, and we are looking forward to seeing you back at the beach soon.

April Guests: If you were due to check in April 10-12th, you should have received an email from us over the weekend, as well as an individual follow up from one of our reservationists to discuss your rental. If you are due to arrive later in the month, we will be in touch with you as we near your arrival date to find a solution that works best for your group.

Guests Arriving Later in the Season: Whenever your arrival date may be, rest assured that your vacation plans, travel concerns, and questions matter deeply to us. On behalf of the entire CDR team, thank you for bearing with us as we prioritize working with our April check-ins. We will continue to handle each lease chronologically based on arrival date until the situation normalizes. It takes time for our reservations, management, and accounting teams — most of whom are working remotely — to address the unique situations of our guests. It’s also important to note that we manage individually owned homes, so on the other side of each resolution is a valued homeowner that we are also staying in close contact with throughout the process.  We are working within the parameters of the current visitor restrictions to the Outer Banks implemented by Dare County Emergency Management. Because there is no information as to when the area will reopen to visitors, if you are arriving later in the season and choose to cancel your rental now, cancellations will follow our normal policy. However, we are not charging a cancellation fee at this time. 

If you purchased travel insurance: To start a claims process or for specific questions related to travel insurance, please contact Red Sky Insurance.

We’re also bringing the beach to you on our Facebook and Instagram pages (in case you want to check out this sunrise from this morning). We are available 7 days a week from 9:00 – 5:00, and can be reached at reservations@carolinadesigns.com or by calling 800.368.3825. Our office will be closed Easter Sunday.

Friday, April 3, 2020 – 3:30 pm

We are beginning to work with our guests who were due to check in April 10th – 12th, and will continue this process on a weekly basis. Each lease is being addressed individually, and our staff is working diligently to handle the volume as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Understandably, many of our guests due to arrive later in the spring or summer have asked about their vacations. These are not easy questions to answer, as there is no indication as to when the Outer Banks will reopen to visitors. Since we are currently only working within the confines of the current restrictions, cancellations made later in the season will be subject to our regular cancellation policy. We assure you that each of your concerns are important to us, and we will continue to stay in touch via this blog and by email as the situation evolves.

We encourage those who have purchased travel insurance to begin the claims process. Full Red Sky Insurance policy information is available here. For specific questions related to travel insurance or to file a claim, please contact Red Sky directly

Our office hours remain the same, and we are open from 9:00 – 5:00, 7 days a week. We can be reached by contacting reservations@carolinadesigns.com or by calling 800.368.3825.

Monday, March 30, 2020 – 6:00 pm

At 5:00 this evening, North Carolina’s Stay At Home order went into effect, which aligns with Dare County’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” restrictions that were implemented on Saturday.

Property management is considered an essential business by the Dare County directive. We continue to prioritize communication with our April guests, but we are available by phone or email to answer your calls and questions, and can be reached at reservations@carolinadesigns.com or by calling 800.368.3825. 

Travel restrictions for visitors and non-resident property owners remain in place. For additional information from local officials, please visit the Dare County Emergency Management (DCEM) website. The DCEM Control Group is meeting regularly to review these restrictions and provide updates to the community.

We will update this blog and stay in direct communication with our guests as we receive more information. 

Friday, March 27, 2020 – 5:00 pm

Today, both Dare County and the state of North Carolina announced “Stay At Home” directives to be implemented in the coming days to further minimize opportunities for exposure and transmission of COVID-19. 

We are still available to take calls and emails, and are operating regular business hours (9:00-5:00, seven days a week.) We can be reached via email at reservations@carolinadesigns.com or by calling 800.368.3825. 

Our reservations department is in the process of reaching out to guests that were due to check in the weekend of April 4th and 5th, if we have not spoken to you already. We will continue to work through this on a week by week basis. 

For the Dare County Emergency Management update, visit the DCEM website
For more details about the NC Stay At Home Order, visit NC.gov

Monday, March 23, 2020 – 3:30 pm

We continue to work with guests scheduled to arrive in March and April who are potentially impacted by the current visitor restrictions. If you have an arrival date outside of that window, please wait before contacting our office, as we are working through the situation on a week by week basis, addressing this chronologically.                                                                                                
We do not know when the Outer Banks will be re-opened to visitors, but we assure you that we will stay in communication with all leaseholders due to arrive in May and beyond as conditions evolve. Guests unable to access their rental home due to the current Outer Banks visitor restrictions will be refunded in full if suitable alternative accommodation dates cannot be found.    
Our staff wants to extend a sincere thank you for the patience and kindness extended by so many of our guests during this process. The Outer Banks is a special place and a home away from home for many of you. Carolina Designs looks forward to welcoming you back to the beach when conditions allow.

Friday, March 20, 2020 – 7:30 pm

The Dare County Emergency Management (DCEM) control group met this evening to review travel restrictions to the Outer Banks. Non-resident property owners will not be allowed to access Dare County beginning tonight, Friday, March 20 at 10 p.m. 

To see the full statement from DCEM, please visit their website
A video explaining the current restrictions can be viewed here

Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 5:30 pm

We are all concerned about the travel restrictions to the Outer Banks, and everyone’s health and safety during this time. If guests are unable to access their rental home due to the current visitor restrictions to the Outer Banks, and if suitable alternative accommodation dates cannot be found, guests will be refunded in full.  

These refunds will be available to guests whose reservation dates are directly impacted by the bridge closure. There is no indication when the Outer Banks will reopen to visitors. We continue to prioritize communication with our March guests, and will be in direct communication with guests arriving in the coming weeks and beyond as the situation evolves. 

Our team is working tirelessly to address this one lease at a time until the situation normalizes. Many of our employees are working remotely, and our in-office staff is limited. We are fielding a large volume of calls and emails, and we thank you for your continued patience and understanding. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – 3:30 pm

The management team at Carolina Designs Realty is continuing to work diligently to gather information to address the questions and concerns of our guests.  

We are currently prioritizing communication with those who had planned to arrive this weekend and next (March 21-29). Rest assured that all travel concerns are incredibly important to us. We will continue to communicate with our guests as we have new information.  

At this time, we do not know when the visitor travel restrictions will be lifted. For the latest information from the county, please visit the Dare County Emergency Management website. Dare County Emergency Management is planning to meet daily as the situation evolves,

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – 1:00 pm

The Dare County Emergency Management control group met this morning to discuss visitor access to the Outer Banks in light of COVID-19. As of 2:00 pm on Tuesday, March 17, visitors will not be permitted access to Dare County or travel through Dare County. This affects our guests renting Carolina Designs properties in Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head.

We are working through fielding high volumes of calls and emails. At this time, we are focusing on communicating with guests who were due to check in this coming weekend (March 20-22), but will continue to be in touch with other incoming guests and and our homeowners. 

The most current information that we have can be found on the Dare County Emergency Management (DCEM) website. Click hereto see the entire bulletin from local officials. DCEM will be meeting daily as the situation evolves. 

Entry Pass procedures that are traditionally used during hurricanes will be implemented. Category 1, 2, and 3 individuals will be allowed access to Dare County, which includes essential personnel, resident and non-resident property owners, and working employees in Dare County. Existing visitors will be allowed to stay through the end of their contracted stay.   

 At this time, information has not been provided about re-entry.  

For questions related to travel insurance, please contact Red Sky Insurance directly or call 866-889-7409. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the Outer Banks when conditions allows. The safety of guests, staff, and Outer Banks neighbors and friends is our top priority at this time, and we again thank you for your patience and understanding.