Healthy Travel Information

    (As of April 6, 2020, 5 p.m.)

    The health and safety of our residents and visitors are paramount and as such, we want to ensure you are fully informed of the impacts of COVID-19 on our area. Seventy-six cases of coronavirus have been identified in Horry County. To slow the spread of COVID-19 local and state leaders have passed emergency ordinances that impact Grand Strand residents and visitors.

    Visitors are encouraged to NOT visit at this time through the end of April, but rather reschedule or plan for a future visit when this health threat passes. Local municipalities have issued emergency ordinances preventing short-term accommodations for accepting or extending any reservations through the end of April 2020. Within the City of Myrtle Beach, visitors are asked to vacate accommodations by noon on Sunday, March 29th, 2020. Also, by order of the state, there is a 14-day mandatory quarantine of anyone coming to South Carolina from a COVID-19 hotspot. This includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of New Orleans  These orders and time frames are subject to change due to this rapidly evolving situation. Additional details for each area ordinance are below:

    City of Myrtle Beach (Quick Reference Brochure)

    All accommodations businesses in the City of Myrtle Beach, including hotels, motels, condo hotels, rental properties, inclusive of private management companies and Airbnb, VRBO style lodging, plus public and private campgrounds:

    • Shall not accept new reservations or extend current reservations for any period prior to May effective immediately (such time limit is subject to further modification), except as indicated below. (See amended order for exemptions.)
    • Existing reservations made for a period beginning Saturday, March 28, 2020, through April 30, 2020, will be rescheduled or canceled. 
    • Those units consistently occupied since March 1, 2020, are exempt from the order but may not be joined by other occupants including friends and family members.
    • All visitors who do not meet the above exemption must vacate the property by noon, Sunday, March 29, 2020. 

    All amusements designed to attract and accommodate visitors, are hereby ordered to close effective Friday, March 27, 2020, including but not limited to:

    • Movie and live performance theaters.
    • Golf courses in the City limits (although locals’ play is allowed)
    • Mini golf courses
    • Moped and golf cart rental operations
    • Amusement parks and arcades

    City of North Myrtle Beach 

    • Updated 3/31/2020 - Rental or use of short-term rentals, including but not limited to hotels, motels, condo hotels, rental properties, inclusive of private management companies and HOAs, Airbnb, VRBO style lodging, public and private campgrounds, and other overnight accommodations beginning 7 a.m. Tuesday, March 31 through April 30, 2020, shall be prohibited. Visitors currently checked in prior to March 31, 2020, may remain as long as they are abiding by Executive Order number 2020-14 issued by Governor Henry McMaster to self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • Exempt: Short-Term Rentals extended to Government, Hospital, Health Agency, Law Enforcement, Military, health care personnel, and other Critical Personnel actively responding to COVID-19.
    • Read Updated Ordinance

    Surfside Beach

    • Rental and use of short-term rentals, including, but not limited to hotels, motels, condo hotels, rental properties, inclusive of private management companies and HOA’s, Airbnb, VRBO style lodging, and other overnight accommodations for 29 days or less beginning 11 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020, through April 30, 2020, shall be prohibited. Visitors currently checked in may remain until the end of their existing reservations.  Exempt: Short-term rentals extended to government, hospital, health agency, law enforcement, military, and other critical personnel actively responding to COVID-19.
    • This ordinance goes into effect at 11 a.m. March 28th, not 7 a.m. as originally outlined. An updated copy of the ordinance will be posted soon.
    • Read Ordinance

    Pawleys Island

    • No new check-ins are permitted for short-term rentals and other overnight accommodations beginning 5:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28 through April 30, 2020. Visitors currently checked in may remain until the end of their existing reservations. Long-term rentals of 30 days or more are still permitted by showing a valid lease agreement.

    • Read Ordinance

    Horry County

    • Shorter-term rentals and amusement type activities in the unincorporated areas of Horry County are prohibited from Saturday, March 28, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. through April 30, 2020.
    • Golf courses are not restricted in the ordinance and are allowed to remain open. Appropriate social distancing is encouraged.
    • Read Ordinance

    Georgetown

    • New short term rentals in all unincorporated areas of the county beginning at 12 a.m. March 28 and lasting until May 1 are prohibited. This applies to all accommodations businesses in unincorporated areas of the county, including but not limited to condos, hotels, beach houses, Airbnb, campgrounds, hunting cabins, and other overnight lodgings. All are prohibited from accepting new reservations for any period of time through the end of April. Any exiting reservations for this time period must be modified or canceled. Visitors currently checked in prior to 12 a.m. March 28 may remain through their existing reservation, but may not extend their stay. Any units consistently occupied by the same occupant since March 1 are exempt, but new occupants including family and friends cannot be added at the unit. Exempt - short-term rentals for applicable health, government, military, law enforcement and other personnel responding to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency

    • Read Ordinance

    State of South Carolina

    • On March 31, 2020, Gov. McMaster issued executive order 2020-17 closing all non-essential businesses in South Carolina that include close contact between individuals. Closures are effective at 5 p.m. on April 1, 2020.
      • The following businesses are included in this order:
        • Entertainment venues and facilities: bowling alleys, night clubs, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, tourist attractions including museums, planetariums and aquariums, racetracks, indoor children play areas (excluding daycares), adult entertainment venues, bingo halls, venues operated by social clubs.
        • Recreational/athletic facilities and activities: fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms, spas and public pools, group exercise facilities to include yoga, barre, and spin studios or facilities, spectator sports, sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than 6’ of another person, activities that require use of shared sporting equipment, public playground equipment.
        • Close contact service providers: barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons, and spas, body art facilities and tattoo services, tanning salons, massage therapy establishments, and massage services.
      • Please note, businesses such as grocery stores, Walmart, Target and other big box stores are not included in this order. 
      • Business owners who need clarification on whether or not this order applies to them should contact S.C. Department of Commerce by email at covid19sc@sccommerce.com or phone at 803-734-2873. Read Governor McMasters’ Executive Order
    • UPDATE: Governor’s March 28 Executive Order Suspends In-Service Dining for 15 days On Saturday, March 28, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-15. The Governor’s Executive Order extended the previous in-service dining Executive Order (2020-10) for fifteen days, or until the State of Emergency is rescinded. This means the in-service dining suspension is extended throughout the state through Sunday, April 12, 2020, the same amount of time the current state of emergency lasts. The Governor certainly maintains the authority to issue further extensions, but our current guidance is that the in-service dining suspension expires end-of-day on April 12, 2020. We understand that this updated guidance contradicts previous information that has been shared with the business community and apologize for that confusion. The MBACC is constantly working to provide our member investors with the most up to date information. We will update our members on future executive orders that could further extend the suspension on in-service dining.
    • The State Law Enforcement Division and local law enforcement are dispersing crowds gathered on state beaches to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The enforcement order declares that it is unlawful for a person to "congregate, unless authorized or in their homes, in groups of three or more and to refuse to disperse upon order of a law enforcement officer."
    • All South Carolina state parks are closed effective Saturday, March 28 through April 30, 2020. This includes day-use areas such as picnic grounds, lakefronts, and trails. Visitors currently occupying campsites and cabins may remain through the duration of their rental reservation as long as they continue practicing social distancing. All new reservation arrivals between March 28 and April 30 will be canceled and refunds issued.
    • By order of the state, there is a 14-day mandatory quarantine of anyone coming to South Carolina from a COVID-19 hotspot. This includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of New Orleans. Visitors are required to isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of entry in S.C. or the duration of the person’s stay in S.C., whichever period is shorter.

    Myrtle Beach International Airport

    • The Myrtle Beach International Airport and all other airports managed by the Horry County Department of Airports remain open and operational. Horry County Government does not have the authority to make a unilateral decision about the closure of airports. That is under the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration. Airlines can also alter flight schedules. In addition, just like in a hurricane, it is important that the airports remain open for County emergency logistics, including the delivery of supplies.
    • Please be advised, as airlines reduce capacity nation-wide, some flight changes or cancellations may result. Travelers should check the status of their flight before arriving at the airport. You can find updated arrival and departure information from MYR on their website. Travelers wishing to change or cancel their itinerary should contact their airlines directly. Contact information for all airlines with service at MYR can be found here. Many airlines are offering fee waivers for changes and cancellations. As a reminder, wait times are estimated to be longer than usual due to increased demand. Some itineraries are eligible to be canceled online; refer to your airlines' website for details.
    • The Chamber nor the City or Horry County have the authority to close MYR airport or to stop airlines from arriving here. This is a federal FAA mandate to remain open during emergencies.

    COVID-19 remains a rapidly evolving situation. We will continue posting updates here and on our social channels to keep you updated until this situation is resolved. Many businesses remain open at this time, but as this situation remains fluid, we recommend you contact individual businesses for the latest accurate information.

    We urge you to continue following the recommendations of the federal government, CDC, SCDHEC, and local officials as we navigate these uncertain times together.

    President Trump has issued new guidelines to help protect Americans during the global Coronavirus outbreak. The recommendations focus on “30 days to slow the spread.”

    Click here for a current list of Closures & Cancellations and Restaurants Offering To-Go Meals.

     

    Tips To Stay Healthy flyerHealthy Travel Practices from the CDC

    • Wash hands often
    • Cough into your elbow and sneeze into a tissue
    • Consult with a doctor before traveling when sick
    • Stay up to date on vaccinations
    • Avoid contact with people who are already sick
    • Avoid contact with animals while traveling
    • Be aware of the latest travel advisories from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department

    Hotlines for People with Symptoms

    • DHEC Care Line > 1-855-472-3432
      If you have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Staff is answering calls from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
    • Several South Carolina health systems are offering telehealth options to the public. These options are available to anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in South Carolina. In order to access the free consult, use the promo code COVID19.
    • Grand Strand Health is offering a Consult-A-Nurse line for any COVID questions, staffed 24/7 by nurses. Call 843-692-4444. 
    • Conway Medical Center is offering a phone line where you can speak with a medical professional for screening for COVID-19. Call 843-428-8767 Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to speak with a registered nurse.

    COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

    • Are there any Coronavirus / COVID-19 cases in the Myrtle Beach area?
      • Seventy-six cases of coronavirus are being investigated in the Grand Strand. S.C. DHEC is investigating multiple cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina.
    • Are all businesses closed across the state?

      • No. Businesses deemed non-essential and/or that create close contact between individuals are closed as of 5 p.m. April 1, 2020. Executive order 2020-17 closed the following businesses:

        Entertainment venues and facilities: bowling alleys, night clubs, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, tourist attractions including museums, planetariums, and aquariums, racetracks, indoor children play areas (excluding daycares), adult entertainment venues, bingo halls, venues operated by social clubs.

        Recreational/athletic facilities and activities: fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms, spas and public pools, group exercise facilities to include yoga, barre and spin studios or facilities, spectator sports, sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than 6’ of another person, activities that require use of shared sporting equipment, public playground equipment.

        Close contact service providers: barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body art facilities and tattoo services, tanning salons, massage therapy establishments and massage services.

    • Why are places like Walmart and Target, home improvement stores and gas stations still open?

      • These facilities are considered essential and remain open to the public. However, people are encouraged to practice social distancing and only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.

    •  I’m not sure if my business is considered essential or non-essential. How do I find out?

    • Why are there flights arriving in Myrtle Beach?
      • The Chamber nor the City or Horry County have the authority to close MYR airport or to stop airlines from arriving here. This is a federal FAA mandate to remain open during emergencies. ​
      • By order of the state, there is a 14-day mandatory quarantine of anyone coming to South Carolina from a COVID-19 hotspot. This includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of New Orleans. Visitors are required to isolate or self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of entry in S.C. or the duration of the person’s stay in S.C., whichever period is shorter.
    • Are the beaches open?
      • No, the beaches are closed.
      • In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Governor McMaster has ordered the closing of public access to the state’s beaches, and boat ramps and landings on the state’s lakes, rivers, and waterways to recreational activities for the duration of the State of Emergency.
      • This includes the closing of associated public parking lots and public facilities at these beaches, boat ramps, and landings.
      • Beaching and/or rafting of boats, whether on a sandbar, lakeshore, riverbank, or island, is prohibited for the duration of the State of Emergency.
      • This does not pertain to private property owners with private access to state beaches and waterways. However, those owners must practice social distancing with less than 3 people congregating, as outlined in previous orders.
      • Also, this order does not pertain to commercial activities, such as commercial fishing.
      • Read Executive Order for more information.
    • Is there a shelter in place order in the Myrtle Beach area?
      • No, not at this time. However, people are encouraged to stay at home and S.C. governor has said no groups of more than 10 should be congregating, and no groups of 3 or more should congregate on the beach or in parking lots. However, by order of the state, there is a 14 day mandatory quarantine of anyone coming to South Carolina from a COVID-19 hotspot. This includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of New Orleans.
    • Why was my hotel reservation canceled?
      • Horry County, the City of Myrtle Beach and the City of North Myrtle Beach have issued emergency ordinances preventing short-term accommodations from accepting or extending any reservations through the end of April 2020. Within the City of Myrtle Beach, visitors are asked to vacate accommodations by noon on Sunday, March 29, 2020. These timeframes could change due to this rapidly evolving situation.
    • Can I stay at my second home or deeded timeshare property?
      • Yes, if you own a second home you may stay in it. Ownership is not included in the ordinances. However, you cannot invite other family or friends or rent out your property.
      • No, if you have a Right-To-Use timeshare which gives you the right to vacation at the property but without deeded ownership. That is perceived as a short-term rental and is prohibited through April 30th.
    • Will my hotel offer refunds?
      • As cancellation and refund policies vary by business, you should contact the business you booked with directly for their latest policies and options. Many businesses are reviewing their policies and making them more flexible to accommodate changing travel plans, such as allowing people to rebook later.
    • I booked my reservation through VRBO or Airbnb and they won’t give me a refund. What should I do?
      • If you booked your resort or condo property reservation through a third party booking engine, including but not limited to Airbnb and VRBO, the cancellation policies for your reservation are determined by the individual owner of that unit, not the third party booking engine or the resort or condo. It is up to the owner of that unit, not the third-party booking engine or condo/resort, to make considerations for changes to their cancellation policy.  We regret that we are not able to assist with these situations as we aren’t privy to the owner’s information and have no jurisdiction over their business policies.  This applies to the condo/resort property management as well. The third-party booking engine may be able to help you contact the owner for consideration as they maintain those contact details and communications.
    • I’m scheduled to visit during April. Should I cancel my trip?
      • Yes, at this time, with restrictions on short-term rentals and the closure of many attractions, it’s recommended that you reschedule your vacation for a later time. Currently, restrictions on short-term rental reservations are only through the month of April and we hope things will return to normal in May. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we do not know with certainty when the health crisis will pass and recommend you monitor news closely or contact individual businesses for the latest information.
    • Are there any closures or event cancellations?
      • Yes. As we’ve seen with national events and schools, most events, restaurants, attractions, and accommodations are closed through April. There are some exceptions, so please check with the individual business for the latest.  Also, many restaurants are offering take-out, curbside pickup, or delivery services. Restaurants Offering To-Go Meals. We’re posting updates on the Coronavirus Closures & Cancellations page as well.
    • What are area businesses and events doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
      • The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB has been in regular contact with businesses and have provided information and resources on how businesses can prepare for and prevent the spread of viruses. You can learn more on the Chamber’s coronavirus outbreak readiness page
      • Many businesses have implemented expanded preventive measures, including:
        • Expanded cleaning and sanitation practices, such as frequent cleanings, wiping down surfaces frequently throughout the day and making sanitation gel or wipes available to visitors.
        • Communicating guidelines to employees and visitors on how to prevent the spread of viruses.
        • Implementing a response plan in case someone is suspected of contracting the coronavirus.

    Additional Resources

    Ways to Help/Relief Assistance

    • American Red Cross: Urgent need for blood donations due to COVID-19 outbreak. 
    • 211 One-stop resource for finding assistance. This resource run by United Way is available 24/7 by calling 211 or by visiting them online at sc211.org. Nonprofits – if you are open and giving assistance, please let 211 know or if you are no longer operating or providing specific assistance, please let 211 know.
    • Waccamaw Community Foundation – Accepting donations, grant applications for COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund
    • Nonprofits/Businesses Helping the Community – These organizations are helping in the COVID-19 relief.