Helpful Tips for Your OBX Vacation as We Prepare to Welcome Back Visitors

Phase 2 Has Been Extended in North Carolina - July 14, 2020 Update 

North Carolina will continue to stay paused in Safer at Home Phase 2 when the governor’s current executive order expires on Friday, July 17. The order will be extended for three weeks until Friday, Aug. 7.

Face coverings are still requred where physical distancing of 6 feet from other people who are not members of the same household or residence is not possible.View guidance on wearing face coverings here

Phase 2 Has Been Extended in North Carolina - June 24, 2020 Update

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen have announced today that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks, until at least July 17th. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread. 

For FAQ’s regarding the Governor’s Executive Order No. 147, click here

What to Know about Phase 2 of Reopening - May 22, 2020 Update

Effective 5 p.m., Friday May 22, North Carolina has moved into Safer At Home Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. The phase runs through at least Friday, June 26th unless changed or canceled. Although the state’s overall key indicators remain stable, the continued increases in daily case counts signals a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned.

What does this mean for my vacation? 

  • Restaurants are able to operate at 50% capacity, although some restaurants are still carry-out or delivery only.
  • Retail is able to operate at 50% capacity
  • Salons and personal care businesses are able to operate at 50% capacity.
  • More commercial businesses are open.
  • Face coverings are still encouraged.
  • Mass gatherings are limited to 10-person limit indoors; 25-person limit outdoors. Please note that a house, household, place of residence, or current place of abode, where more than 10 people reside is not a mass gathering. You are able to gather with your family in the home, if it allows for 10+ in official occupancy.

For FAQ’s regarding the Governor’s Executive Order No. 138 that moves North Carolina into Phase 2 of easing certain COVID-19 restrictions to help revive the economy while protecting public health, click here

What to Know About the Outer Banks Reopening on May 16th, 2020

On May 6th 2020, Dare & Currituck Counties announced that restrictions on entry for visitors will be lifted on Saturday, May 16th at 12:01 am. We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming our guests back to the Outer Banks!  This has been a challenging time for us all and are we are looking forward to helping provide happiness, relaxation, and a sense of normalcy to you and your family.

Please note that it is important to remember that the coronavirus is not over. 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. 

Beginning May 8th, 2020 at 5:00 pm, North Carolina will be under Phase 1 of Executive Order 138 issued by Governor Roy Cooper, modifying North Carolina’s Stay at Home order and slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions. 

We are appreciative of the overwhelming response we have received to the news of re-entry to the Outer Banks. We have also received many questions due to these unprecedented times and wanted to provide an FAQ forum for our guests. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call one of our Vacation Specialists or chat online at

Q: Are social distancing guidelines still in place?
A: Yes – aside from practicing good hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, maintaining social distancing guidelines is one of the most important measures we can take to keep ourselves and others safe. 

Q: Do I need to wear a mask everywhere I go?
A: While no longer required in Dare County, it is strongly recommended that individuals wear a cloth face covering when leaving the house if you may be within six feet of other people who are not household and family members. This would include indoor, community, public and business settings. Face coverings should also be worn outdoors when you cannot stay at least six feet away from other people. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to wear a mask or cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Q: Will any stores be open during Phase 1?
A: Phase 1 of Executive Order 138 eliminates the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses, allowing most retail businesses (with exceptions) that can comply with specific requirements to open at 50 percent capacity.  

Q: Will restaurants & bars be open?
A: During Phase 1 of Executive Order 138, restaurants & bars will remain closed for dine-in service and on-premises beverage consumption, however, most local restaurants offer take-out and many offer delivery services as well.

Q: Are the grocery stores stocked? 
A: Like many places in the United States, all shoppers should expect to see changes in product availability at grocery and retail outlets as supply chain demand fluctuates across the nation. If possible, visitors should bring essentials with them, including paper and sanitizing products and non-perishable groceries.

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Q: What businesses are not permitted to be open during Phase 1? 
A: Personal care and grooming businesses, entertainment facilities, performance venues, and fitness facilities are still required to be closed during this time.

Q: Mass gatherings are limited to 10 people or less. What if I have 10 or more people in my party?  
A: According to Executive Order 138, a house, household, place of residence, or current place of abode, where more than 10 people reside is not a mass gathering. You are able to gather with your family in the home, if it allows for 10+ in official occupancy. 

Q: Are there any restrictions on visitors coming from states with stay at home orders?
A: No, there are no restrictions.

Q: What if I am sick or was recently exposed to COVID-19?
A: The CDC recommends not to travel if you are sick or were recently exposed (within 14 days) to COVID-19. Please call your check-in office to discuss your options.

Q: What additional cleaning measures are your Housekeeping department taking?
A: Sun is following all guidelines recommended by the CDC and the VRHP (Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals), including:
• Masks, gloves, and booties are provided to all staff members in the field.
• Cleaners employ a 2-step cleaning and disinfecting process, which includes:
            • A thorough cleaning using anti-bacterial cleaning products
            • Sanitization using a chemical disinfectant, Spartan Chemical (BNC-15), which is proven to kill coronavirus.
• Cleaners are paying extra attention to high-touch points, including cabinet and doorknobs/handles, remote controls, touch keypads, railings, chairbacks, blind wands, dresser pulls, lamps, etc. 
• Sun will also be outfitting all pillows with pillow protectors, as well as offering an opt-in triple sheeting option. More information to come.

Q: What additional guidelines are your Linens department following?
A: For linens (sheets & towels) provided by Sun Realty and laundered in our in-house laundry facility:
• Temperatures in our laundry facility are set to wash sheets and towels at the recommended levels to activate chemicals.
• We use the CDC recommended amount of EPA-approved, high-percentage bleaching agent, and have added a sanitizing cycle.
• Proper dryer temperatures are used, in order to kill any remaining bacteria.
• Carts, delivery trucks and bags are sanitized between services.
• Carts are color coded, to avoid cross contamination.
• All sheets and towels are securely wrapped and delivered to the rental property.

Q: What are your updated check-in procedures?
A: Rental properties with keyless entry will be allowed access to the home ASAP upon notification that the property has been sufficiently cleaned and inspected, without having to visit the rental office. For homes with keys, guests may opt to receive those key packets via our outside drop boxes, to avoid coming into the rental office. Check-out simply by leaving the keys on the kitchen counter (not necessary for keyless) then call or text to let us know you have left the property. No need to return to the office.

Q: What are the updated procedures for Maintenance/Pool/HVAC Technicians?
A: Should your vacation rental need service during your stay, the following protocols are now in place:
• Maintenance Coordinators will note the guest or owner's phone number on the technician's work order.
• Technician will call when they arrive. The owner or guest will be asked to leave the property or isolate themselves while tech is working in the home.
• Techs will wear masks, gloves & booties while in the home.
• Techs will request access to the closest sink to wash/sanitize hands before & after every service call or use hand sanitizer upon entering the property and at departure.

Q: When will NC enter Phase 2 of Executive Order 138, and what does it include?
A: Phase 1 of Executive Order 138 is in effect until 5 pm on Friday, May 22. However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2. Phase 2 will only start if data and indicators are in the right place. Phase 2 will include limited opening of restaurants, bars and other businesses that can follow strict safety protocols, including reduced capacity, increased cleaning measures and social distancing measures.

Please know that the health of our employees, visitors, and owners is of the utmost importance to us here at Sun, with a commitment to providing our entire staff with continuous training on enhanced protocols to limit exposure and spread. Thank you for choosing and trusting Sun with your vacation. We look forward to welcoming you here on the Outer Banks soon!

Updated information about entry to Dare County is available on the Dare County website at Comprehensive information and resources related to the coronavirus can be found at

For updated information regarding the Currituck Outer Banks, visit

For information regarding entry to Ocracoke Island, visit and for Hyde County information and resources related to the coronavirus visit

For FAQ’s regarding the Governor’s Executive Order No. 138 that moves North Carolina into “Phase 1” of easing certain COVID-19 restrictions to help revive the economy while protecting public health, visit

Find Your Next Outer Banks Vacation Rental Today!

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