PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio (WJW)– The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce announced plans on Friday to slowly reopen the island for the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The chamber encouraged guests to plan their trip to the island while reinforcing the importance of safety measures.
“Right now, we are going to open cautiously. We can do a lot of things. It might not be the exact Put-in-Bay you expected,” said Paul Jeris, member of the Put-In-Bay Path Forward Committee.
It said businesses are bringing over cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, as well as installing other safeguards.
“We need your help to follow state recommendations and guidelines by wearing masks when requested, frequently washing your hands and practicing social distancing. For your safety, our island employees and our island residents, following these guidelines is critical,” the chamber of commerce said.
Starting next week, Put-in-Bay shops will begin to open. On May 9, some private marinas will accept reservations and on May 15, the village docks will open. Golf cart rentals will also start on May 15.
Then on May 21, bars and restaurants will be open for dine-in, while following state protocols.
According to the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Miller Ferry will start hourly runs, seven days a week on May 11. Jet Express service starts mid-May.
“People will be able to get on in their car, stay away from anyone and get off directly onto the island,” Jeris said.
There are still no medical facilities on the island, which has about 500 residents.
“We still have Life Flight, we don’t have facilities here like hospitals. But we do have EMS and you can take an ambulance off the island, if something happens. We’ve dealt with this all our lives,” Jeris said.