Visiting Madison During COVID-19
Travel looks different these days. There are so many things to consider and questions to ask before visiting another city. Below is information that we hope will help you learn what a trip to Madison looks like right now.
As we all know, COVID-19 is an ever-evolving situation. While we update this page regularly, we cannot guarantee information hasn’t changed since the last edit.
Page last updated: November 11, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
Photo by Norwegian Heritage Center
Is Madison Open for Visitors?
Yes, visitors are welcome in Madison. Just remember to bring a mask.
Are Wisconsin’s borders open?
Yes, Wisconsin’s borders are open.
Are face coverings required in Madison?
Yes, face masks or coverings are required indoors for people aged five and over in Madison, and throughout all of Wisconsin.
The face-covering must cover the nose and mouth when in public, which includes in businesses, health care settings, waiting in line and on public transportation, or in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle. A Dane County order went into effect on July 13, 2020. Learn more about the Dane County mask policy. A state-wide order went into effect on August 1, 2020.
What are the COVID-19 case numbers like in Dane County?
New data is released each day. Check out this helpful dashboard that allows you to view data using a variety of filters.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in Madison?
Free testing is available on-site at Alliant Energy Center, Tuesday through Saturday.
Additional testing sites include the South Madison Community Test Site, which is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for people ages 5 and older. UW-Madison also has testing on campus for students and staff. Visit Public Health Madison & Dane County for more information on testing options.
Where can I find additional public health information?
Additional useful COVID-19 information can be found at the websites below:
- Madison and Dane County
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- Forward Dane: Phased Reopening Plan for Dane County
Madison restaurants are open at 25 percent capacity for indoor dining, and many have expanded or created new outdoor dining spaces as part of a streatery program. Additionally, many restaurants are offering family-style meals, picnic kits and other to-go options.
Visit our restaurants page to discover what individual restaurants are offering and what safety precautions they're taking.
Madison hotels are open and welcoming guests, and many have implemented CDC-recommended cleaning guidelines.
Visit our hotels page to find accommodations suitable to your preferences.
Shopping & Attractions
Photo by Focal Flame Photography
Many shops are open in Madison and required to limit capacity to 50 percent. Be sure to check the store’s individual website or social media channels for their status and hours before visiting.
Some area attractions are open and operating with additional safety measures, while some remain closed for the time being. An incomprehensive list of attractions and their status can be found below. For the most current information, visit their websites or social media channels:
- American Players Theatre: The 2020 season is canceled.
- Cave of the Mounds: Open for self-guided tours. Face masks are required.
- Chazen Museum of Art: Open by appointment only.
- Dane County Farmers’ Market: Walk-ups are available during select hours on Saturday mornings at Willow Island on the Alliant Energy Center campus. Drive through pickups (pre-ordering required) are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There is no farmers’ market on the Capitol Square in 2020.
- Henry Vilas Zoo: Open to the public. Face masks are required for ages five and up.
- The House on the Rock: Open with added guidelines and safety measures.
- Madison Children’s Museum: Temporarily closed to the public.
- Madison Museum of Contemporary Art: Galleries are open to the public with added health and safety precautions. Visit the collection online.
- Memorial Union Terrace: Closed to the public starting August 28. Open to UW-Madison students, faculty and staff only.
- Mid-Continent Railway Museum: Closed until further notice.
- Olbrich Botanical Gardens: Outdoor gardens are open to the public with reduced hours and capacities. Read about Olbrich’s health and safety measures.
- Wisconsin State Capitol: Currently closed to the public. A virtual tour is available if you’d like to explore today.
Photo by Focal Flame Photography
There is so much to do outdoors in Madison. Take a look at our Explore Outdoor Madison page brimming with physically distant outdoor activities in our green spaces and on our lakes and trails — including picnic spots and special offerings. You’ll also want to read through our 12 Iconic Adventures for specific ideas of how to spend your day outdoors in Madison.
Here are some quick details on the status of specific activities:
- Biking and Hiking Paths: Paths are very much open and ready to explore.
- Golf: City of Madison golf courses are open with adjustments. Most private courses are also open, but please contact individual locations for confirmation.
- Parks & Beaches: Most Madison and Dane County parks are open (270+ in the Madison area!). Use our search filter to find one that meets your needs.
- Lakes: Paddling, swimming, fishing and more are all available to do in Madison this summer.
- Camping/RVs: Most camping is open in Madison. Research safety policies and other booking details before planning your trip.
- Wisconsin State Parks: Daily park and trail admission passes are available at all state park system properties.
Madison is a mask-friendly community. On July 13, masks became required in all indoor, public spaces. They are also encouraged in all outdoor spaces where a physical distance of 6 feet cannot be met.
Bring your mask and join Madison in being a safe, healthy community to live and visit.
Need a new mask? Here are some local Madison makers and small businesses that are offering them.