Emerald Isle North Carolina Open for Visitors May 9th, 2020

Emerald Isle Open for Visitors

Emerald Isle North Carolina Open for Visitors May 9th, 2020

“The Town of Emerald Isle will lift its mandatory restriction on short term rentals on May 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM” – Matt Zapp

Emerald Isle Press Release – COVID-19 Updates – Thursday, May 7, 2020

Press Release | Thursday, May 7, 2020 | Town of Emerald Isle: COVID-19 Updates

The Town of Emerald Isle remains under a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus while maintaining essential services, the Town has implemented several operational changes to ensure social and physical distance and limit exposure. Provided below is an update on Town operations, services, and events.

Short Term Rental Restrictions

The Town of Emerald Isle will lift its mandatory restriction on short-term rentals on May 8, 2020, at 11:59 PM.  The restriction had prohibited the renting of a hotel room, motel room, rental housing unit, condominium, RV campsite, primitive campsite, or similar accommodation.  Rental properties may accept occupants effective May 9, 2020.


Due to national supply chain issues, travelers to Emerald Isle are encouraged to bring necessary supplies with them. These items include, but are not limited to: paper products, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and basic grocery items.

Food Service

Per Executive Order 138, restaurants across North Carolina must remain closed for dine-in meals. Only take-out, drive-through, and delivery services are allowed.

Public Beach Parking Areas

The following approach will be taken in Emerald Isle regarding public parking facilities:

  • May 9, 2020- Third Street parking lot will open to the public.
  • May 9, 2020- Station Street parking lot will open to the public.
  • May 9, 2020- Eastern Ocean Regional Access (EORA) parking lot will be open to the public.  The EORA restrooms and outside showers will remain closed.

Closed- The Western Ocean Regional Access (WORA) remains closed due to construction.  The facility will re-open upon completion.

Water Access

The waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound (within Emerald Isle) are open for outdoor recreational use.  Permitted activities include swimming, surfing, kiting, kayaking, fishing, and boating.  Residents can walk, jog, and sit on the beach strand.  All beachgoers must adhere to the current social distancing guidelines.

Municipal Facility Closings

The Emerald Isle Administration Building (7509 Emerald Drive) and the Police Department (7500 Emerald Drive) have limited public access.  The Emerald Isle Community Center and all Parks & Recreation maintained facilities, remain closed to the public until further notice. Although these facilities are closed, the work of the Town continues uninterrupted through the COVID-19 response.

Emerald Isle residents and guests can access the Town’s full array of online resources at The Town of Emerald Isle. If needed, individuals may drop off necessary paperwork and building permit applications at a drop box located in the Town Admin building foyer. While Town Hall is closed, Town staff will check the dropbox throughout the day. The Town will mail acknowledgments and receipts upon request.

Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call 252-354-3424.  Staff will reply promptly during normal business hours.

Town of Emerald Isle Contact Information

Planning, Inspections, and Permits

Josh Edmondson, Town Planner



Accounts Payable/ Receivable/ Taxes

Laura Rotchford, Finance Director



Non-Emergency Police Department Services

Tony Reese, Chief of Police



Parks and Recreation Services

Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreations Director



Public Works: Solid waste/ Yard Debris/ Roads

Artie Dunn, Public Works Director



Phase 1 Opening in North Carolina

Citizens are asked to comply with the Exec. Order 138 and the associated limitations issued by Gov. Cooper. Maintain social distancing (of 6-feet or greater separation) and limit gatherings to groups of 10 or less.  Wearing a protective face covering, when in public, is also recommended. For further clarification, please reference: NC.Gov COVID-19 Staying Ahead of the Curve


For press inquiries, contact:

Matt Zapp, Town Manager



Thursday, May 7, 2020 4:50:00 PM Categories: News