DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — The Outer Banks will lift visitor restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus at the end of next week.

Visitor restrictions in Currituck, Dare, and Hyde counties will be lifted on Saturday, May 16. The following areas will allow visitors at that time:

  • Duck
  • Southern Shores
  • Kitty Hawk
  • Kill Devil Hills
  • Nags Head
  • Manteo
  • Hatteras Island
  • Roanoke Island
  • Dare mainland
  • Currituck County Outer Banks
  • Currituck County campgrounds
  • Ocracoke Island

These areas were closed in to visitors and non-resident property owners in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The decision to allow visitors into the counties came on Wednesday — less than 24 hours after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order allowing the state to transition into the first phase of reopening by easing some COVID-19 restrictions, according to a news release.

The first phase or reopening allows some businesses to reopen, as well as parks and trails. Under the executive order, some businesses, like gyms, salons, and bars, must remain closed and restaurants will only be allowed to do takeout and delivery business.

Public gatherings are still limited to 10 or fewer people, and social distancing guidelines are still in place. The new executive order expires on May 22. A modified stay-at-home order will remain in place until that time.

“As visitors prepare for vacation, it is important to remember that the coronavirus is not over,” the release states. “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.”

People who plan to visit the Outer Banks on May 16 or later in the season should contact their accommodations provider ahead of traveling.

People should not travel if they are sick or if they have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 in the last two weeks.

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