California’s New Lockdown: What Travelers Need to Know

AFAR logo


© Photo by Shutterstock
California Begins Reopening for Travel


Photo by Shutterstock Under the new order, wineries are among the numerous businesses required to close.
On December 3, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new regional stay-home order that will go into effect once each region within California has less than 15 percent intensive care unit (ICU) capacity left within its hospitals due to COVID-19 cases—a threshold the state’s regions are expected to meet in the coming days as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soar.

The Northern California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley have already announced that they are implementing the regional stay-home order effective December 6, 2020, at 10 p.m., through Monday, January 4, 2020 at 6 p.m.

The order is also expected to go into effect imminently in nearly two dozen counties throughout the Central Valley and Southern California. It will likely be implemented statewide by mid-December.

Once implemented, the order remains in effect for at least three weeks after which it will be assessed on a weekly basis.

It comes as California is experiencing a record number of infections—over the last week, the state has averaged 17,000 new cases per day, the Los Angeles Times reported. That figure represents a 61.6 percent increase over daily case counts from two weeks ago. The test positivity rate has increased to 7.7 percent from 5.2 percent two weeks back.

“This is not a permanent state. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are a few months away from truly seeing real progress with the vaccine, real distribution, real accessibility, real availability. We do not anticipate having to do this once again, but we really all need to step up. We need to meet this moment head-on and we need to do everything we can to stem the tide, to bend the curve . . . to get those vaccines in the hands of all Californians, all across the state,” Newsom said in a December 3 press conference announcing the new order.

What does California’s new stay-home order entail?

So, what does the new directive mean for the state’s residents and those who were planning to visit?

First off, the order—true to its name—asks that residents stay at home and makes private gatherings of any size off limits. It also bans nonessential travel. Thus, while hotels and lodgings can stay open, the state has said they can only accommodate essential travelers. The California Department of Public Health defines essential travel as travel related to work, study, critical infrastructure support, economic services, supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

Restaurants will no longer be able to serve any kind of dine-in meals, including outdoor dining, and can only stay open for takeout and delivery orders.

Video: Santa is coming to Orangeburg, visitors must make an appointment (WLTX-TV Columbia)

  • text: Students protest as Lexington Richland Five holds special meeting

    Students protest as Lexington Richland Five holds special meeting

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a car driving on a city street filled with lots of traffic: Traffic changes coming to Five Points to improve pedestrian safety

    Traffic changes coming to Five Points to improve pedestrian safety

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a person standing in a room: Lexington-Richland 5 to move back to hybrid schedule for middle, high  schools

    Lexington-Richland 5 to move back to hybrid schedule for middle, high schools

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a woman holding a sign: Lexington-Richland 5 to move back to hybrid schedule

    Lexington-Richland 5 to move back to hybrid schedule

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a close up of a sign: Santa is coming to Orangeburg, visitors must make an appointment

    Santa is coming to Orangeburg, visitors must make an appointment

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a person sitting at a desk in front of a window: Lexington-Richland Five to reconsider return to hybrid learning

    Lexington-Richland Five to reconsider return to hybrid learning

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a large room: Three Midlands high schools close due to staffing, COVID-19 concerns

    Three Midlands high schools close due to staffing, COVID-19 concerns

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a boy wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: AC Flora student remembered after fatal car wreck

    AC Flora student remembered after fatal car wreck

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a screen shot of a man: Orangeburg City Council changes meeting time so residents can participate

    Orangeburg City Council changes meeting time so residents can participate

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • Preparations underway for 'Christmas in Cayce' event

    Preparations underway for 'Christmas in Cayce' event

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • diagram: SCDOT to close ramps at I-26 and US 1 for maintenance

    SCDOT to close ramps at I-26 and US 1 for maintenance

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a man wearing a suit and tie: Autumn 2020 is over - and it broke records in the South Carolina Midlands

    Autumn 2020 is over – and it broke records in the South Carolina Midlands

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a group of people standing in a room: 3 Lexington-Richland 5 high schools close Tuesday due to staff shortage

    3 Lexington-Richland 5 high schools close Tuesday due to staff shortage

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a large building in the background: South Carolina lawmakers to tackle education reform next year

    South Carolina lawmakers to tackle education reform next year

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • logo: World AIDs day is December 1

    World AIDs day is December 1

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a person sitting at a table with a plate of food: When to get tested for COVID-19 after Thanksgiving

    When to get tested for COVID-19 after Thanksgiving

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo

    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • text: Students protest as Lexington Richland Five holds special meeting
    Students protest as Lexington Richland Five holds special meeting
    Students are protesting outside the district offices as board members discuss returning to in-person classes, amongst other topics.

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo
    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a car driving on a city street filled with lots of traffic: Traffic changes coming to Five Points to improve pedestrian safety
    Traffic changes coming to Five Points to improve pedestrian safety
    The changes include signs and traffic lights to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo
    WLTX-TV Columbia

  • a person standing in a room: Lexington-Richland 5 to move back to hybrid schedule for middle, high  schools
    Lexington-Richland 5 to move back to hybrid schedule for middle, high schools
    Lexington-Richland School District Five's school board has voted to go back to a hybrid schedule for high schools and middle schools.

    WLTX-TV Columbia Logo
    WLTX-TV Columbia

UP NEXT

Campgrounds, wineries, bars, breweries, museums, zoos, aquariums, playgrounds, movie theaters, salons, and personal care services must all close. Ski resorts can stay open with health and safety protocols in place, but they won’t be able to offer food and beverage services. Retail stores can remain open at 20 percent capacity.

Who can travel to California?

On November 13, the governors of California, Oregon, and Washington issued a joint statement asking residents and visitors entering from out of state, including international travelers, to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Other than the quarantine request, there are currently no restrictions on travel to California from within the United States, and all of the state’s major airports, including Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport, remain open with flights operating.

As for international visitors, per U.S. government restrictions, foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, Europe, the United Kingdom, or Ireland in the previous 14 days will be denied entry into California. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are exempt.

Are California beaches and parks open?

The majority of the beaches along California’s 840 miles of coastline are open but may have some restrictions in place, such as limited parking or capacity controls. The California Coastal Commission maintains an updated list of which beaches are open and the regulations put in place during the COVID-19 crisis.

The California state park system consists of 280 parks, beaches, and natural, cultural, and historic sites. Of those, 11 state parks were closed as of December 4. The rest are open for day use, but campgrounds will temporarily close as required by the stay-home order. The state park system advises visitors to check each park’s website for the most up-to-date information. 

As for national parks, the majority are open, including Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Redwood National Parks, Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park. Check their websites for the latest.

Are Disneyland, Legoland, and other theme parks open?

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and most major theme parks remain closed in California. Some of the shops in the Downtown Disney District, however, are open. (The Disney Resort hotels, including Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and the Disneyland Hotel all remain temporarily closed.)

Universal CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood is open from 12 to 8 p.m. daily.

The Legoland Hotel, Sea Life Aquarium, and Legoland California’s Miniland U.S.A. section were all still open at press time in the theme park’s Carlsbad location. But the new stay-home order says that amusement parks must close.

An evolving situation

As the number of cases climbs and (hopefully) recedes in California, additional closures and reopenings could take place throughout the state. Visit California has compiled a comprehensive list of links to all of the state’s city and county travel sites, which offer travelers resources for navigating what is and isn’t open in California.

This story was originally published on June 9, 2020, and was updated on December 4, 2020, to include current information.

>> Next: Hawaii Issues New Rules for Travelers—Here’s What You Need to Know

Source: Read Full Article