COVID-19 Travel Update

Travel Preparedness for our Visitors

The Jekyll Island Authority is actively monitoring developments and information surrounding COVID-19’s (coronavirus) potential impact on travel to and around Jekyll Island, as the health and safety of our residents and visitors is a top priority. We are continuously monitoring and participating in communications provided by Georgia state health and government officials to ensure any necessary precautions are taken.

As the state of Georgia returns to reopening, we understand not everyone feels comfortable traveling at this time. For those who choose to visit the island, we are committed to providing a safe environment and the health and wellbeing of our visitors is our top priority.


Facility Operations

While some amenities, restaurants, and shops have begun to resume operations, others will see a “rolling return” once we’re confident we can maintain proper sanitization and social distancing expectations from the CDC. This will occur over the next several weeks and even then, some amenities will likely operate at a reduced capacity for some time.

Closures

  • Jekyll Island Convention Center
  • Public Playground located at 100 Great Dunes Lane
  • Campground Pavilion
  • Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll
    • After much thought and concern for the health and safety of 4-H staff, volunteers, and our 4-H participants, Georgia 4-H has made the difficult decision to cancel camp for the 2020 summer season.  We are already looking forward to 2021 when we can continue “to make the best better.”

Operation Changes

  • Georgia Sea Turtle Center – 912.635.4444
    • Open under new operational protocols and limited occupancy. Please visit gstc.jekyllisland.com for details.
    • Injured sea turtles can still be reported by calling: 912-264-7218 or 1-800-2SAVEME (800-272-8363)
  • Jekyll Island Convention Center
    • The Center remains closed but is now offering curbside take-out meals. View menu »
  • Jekyll Island Golf Club – 912.635.2368
    • Current club hours will be 7:45 a.m.-4 p.m. A limited number of golf carts will be available for use from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will be restricted to one player per cart unless participants are from the same household. All carts must be returned no later than 4 p.m.
    • Great Dunes Golf Course will resume as a standalone facility, beginning July 3. Until then, to facilitate play on Great Dunes, the Club will combine the front of Oleander with Great Dunes, and players will need to check-in at the main clubhouse first. New, temporary, scorecards will be available and the changes will be reflected on both the GHIN systems and the cart GPS systems.
    • The Golf Pro Shop is limited to a maximum of 10 people, including staff, at all times.
    • Social distancing is mandatory at all times.
  • Jekyll Island Greenhouse (no phone number available, contact JIA administration – 912.635.4000)
    • Open Wednesdays & Fridays only, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • Jekyll Island Guest Information Center – 912.635.3636
    • Hours of operation: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    • Annual Parking Passes may be purchased online at jekyllisland.com/parking.
    • If you need assistance with purchasing an annual or day pass online, a Guest Information Center specialist can provide guidance on accessing the payment portal, but passes will need to be purchased online.
    • A gate attendant will remain available 24/7 by pressing the HELP/INTERCOM in each lane for assistance.
  • Jekyll Island Mini Golf & Bike Barn – 912.635.4638
    • Mini Golf: Sunday-Thursdays: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
    • Bike Barn: Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • McCormick’s Grill – 912.635.4103
    • Open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily for dine-in services. Take-out service is also available.
  • Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum – 912.635.4036
    • Open under new operational protocols and limited occupancy. Historic District tours will be limited and reservations are encouraged. Please visit jekyllisland.com/history for details and tram tour reservations.
  • Summer Waves Water Park – 912.635.2074
    • Now open under new operational protocols. Guests are strongly encouraged to visit summerwaves.com for details, prior to visiting the water park and to purchase tickets online in advance to ensure entry.

Restaurant, Hotel & Business Operation Changes & Closures

The operations listed above are subject to change. Contact individual properties for questions on any changes in operations.


Beaches

The Administrative Order regarding beaches from the Department of Natural Resources has been lifted as of 11:59 p.m. on May 6. All regular beach activities, including the use of chairs, coolers, tents, and umbrellas, can resume, with the exception of the following social distancing mandates that remain in effect through May 31:

  • No groups over 10 people
  • All people must be at least 6 feet apart unless under the same household

All beach pavilions, picnic areas, and beach restroom facilities have reopened for use, but all social distancing mandates outlined above remain in effect.

The public is encouraged to report any observed non-compliance of social distancing by calling the Georgia State Patrol at 912.635.2303 or the DNR Ranger Hotline at 1.800.241.4113.


Events

For the safety of our visitors and following recommendations regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from the CDC, many spring and summer island events have been canceled. While fall and winter events are still being evaluated, visitors are encouraged to check the events calendar regularly for updates or cancellations, as an event date gets closer.

  • The Jekyll Island Fourth of July Independence Day Fireworks have been canceled.
    • As a state park, fireworks are strictly prohibited on Jekyll Island. This includes all types of consumer and commercial fireworks discharged in any public spaces or private homes. Consumer fireworks include, but are not limited to bottle rockets, skyrockets, Roman candles, firecrackers, sparklers, smoke and punk, fountains, missiles, novelties, crackle and strobe, parachutes, wheels and spinners, sky flyers, and display shells
    • Commercial firework permits are available to licensed fireworks companies and must be obtained from the Jekyll Island Authority in advance of use. Details of this ordinance are available under JIA Code Section 18-17
  • The 2020 Shrimp & Grits Festival has been canceled. 
    • Out of interest for public health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Shrimp & Grits Festival, slated for November 6-8, has been canceled. The decision is based on many factors, including budgetary concerns and the uncertainly surrounding public events in the future
    • The festival is slated to return November 5-7, 2021, to continue the celebration of shrimp & grits and the dish’s longstanding connection to the south
    • Artists and vendors who applied to participate in the 2020 festival will have their fees refunded or provided the option to transfer applications to the 2021 festival. Those who have applied will be contacted through the application platform
    • Read the full announcement including a statement from Executive Director Jones Hooks »

Safety Protocols

We are taking a number of stringent precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of those living, visiting, and working on the island and have increased many of our operational protocols.

  • Staff who have contact with guests will be required to wear assigned face masks
  • Customer service counters will have plexiglass dividers, to further establish social distancing
  • Increased hand-sanitizing stations and pumps at all authority-operated gift shops and amenities, including the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center and Jekyll Island Convention Center
  • We have partnered with EcoLab to have hospital-grade disinfectants available for use in all JIA restroom facilities as well as increased maintenance and service frequency of our public restroom facilities including a secondary sanitizing step in the service protocol
  • Requiring Jekyll Island Authority employees with illnesses including flu-like symptoms to stay home and seek medical attention
  • Encouraging increased frequency of handwashing and sanitation efforts by all Jekyll Island Authority employees
  • Increased sanitation of public surfaces including countertops, doorknobs and other areas throughout our facilities that frequently come into contact with the public
  • Providing additional travel-size hand sanitizer products for purchase at our gift shops and retail locations

Visiting

As you plan and embark on your travel to Jekyll Island, it is important to implement best practices and judgment to prevent the spread of illness to others. To exercise caution, please follow the CDC’s recommendations:

  • Practice social distancing; keeping a space of 6 ft. between you and others
  • If you are feeling ill or have prolonged symptoms of illness, do not travel and seek guidance from a health care professional
  • Those with compromised immune systems or of an elderly age should avoid travel to prevent the risk of illness, in accordance with the extended Executive Order regarding vulnerable travelers
  • Follow the department of public health’s preventative measures for illness, including the use of a face mask when in public: dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

We encourage our visitors to help keep themselves and others healthy while enjoying our beautiful island. This means that while you are out in public, please heed public health advice and wear a mask to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others through Georgia Governor Kemp’s Georgia Safety Promise, and follow the most up-to-date information and guidance offered by other trusted sources including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)Georgia Department of Health, and your local authorities.

Any person entering the premises waives all civil liability against this premises owner and operator for any injuries caused by the inherent risk associated with contracting COVID-19 at public gatherings, except for gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm, by the individual or entity of the premises.

Last Updated 2020-07-09 15:29:49