Businesses told not to bring seasonal workers to the island

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 1:30pm

The following message was issued by Interim Town Manager Jim Kern:

This notice is distributed as a reminder to all persons that the Town has not issued any hotel, rooming house or boardinghouse licenses. It is not anticipated that any such licenses will be issued during the effective period of the Town's Emergency Ordinance. Accordingly, no persons, including seasonal employees, may be housed in any hotel, rooming house or boardinghouse without the appropriate license.

Any person who is found to be providing housing to persons without the appropriate license, will be subject to the penalties provided for by law. During this difficult time, it is the Town's intention to enforce the licensing ordinances and statutes to fullest extent permitted by law.

The Town also reminds all business owners that any seasonal workers arriving on Block Island cannot be housed at any premises for which a hotel, rooming house or boardinghouse license is required.

Furthermore, all persons arriving on the island are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and to shelter in place after the quarantine period. In addition, seasonal staff cannot work at their employers' businesses. Only essential activities are allowed under the Emergency Ordinance. Based on the foregoing, seasonal workers, tourists and visitors should not come to Block Island at this time.

The Police Department is vigorously enforcing the Town's Emergency Ordinance as well as the Governor's Executive Orders and federal guidelines.

The Town Council will be meeting regularly to evaluate the status of the virus spread and the effect of mitigation efforts and to adjust the Emergency Ordinance as appropriate.  These precautions are being taken with the objective of being able to operate Block Island businesses as soon as possible.

We appreciate your attention and cooperation,


James Kern,

Interim Town Manager

Town of New Shoreham