It’s official: As of June 15, California is back in business.
That means hotels, restaurants, wineries, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, and countless other attractions are opening their doors without state-mandated capacity restrictions or physical distancing markers. (Before traveling, familiarize yourself with local guidelines and regulations for all of the destinations you plan to visit. Please reference Visit California’s Travel Alerts for more information and links). The reopening comes nearly 15 months after Governor Gavin Newsom issued a March 2020 stay-at-home order designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“From California’s coastlines to our theme parks to our breathtaking national forests, our state’s diverse terrain and unique communities make us the envy of the world when it comes to tourism,” Newsom said. “As we move forward to a post-pandemic life, our tourism sector is expected to come roaring back—making us, once again, a global leader in hospitality and leisure.”
Attractions across the state are embracing the news with revised guidelines for guests. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for instance, celebrated “Reopening Day” by returning to full capacity on June 15. At the San Diego Zoo, visitors no longer need to make reservations before purchasing tickets. And face masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated guests outdoors at Disneyland Resort (masks are still required while indoors and on enclosed transportation).
Visitors are still strongly encouraged to check with individual attractions and destinations for any specialized protocols and guidelines, but the default travel message is a big one: You’re good to go.
“California’s tourism businesses stand ready to welcome travelers, and for the first time since the pandemic lockdown, visitors can now take in the full range of only-in-California, unforgettable vacation experiences,” says Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “California is a place that welcomes all people and all dreams, and the time to travel here is now.”
As people return in greater numbers to the Golden State’s iconic destinations, they should not lose sight of the imperative to travel safely and responsibly. Visitors, residents, and tourism operators are encouraged to follow the seven principles of Visit California’s Responsible Travel Code.
California still encourages visitors and residents to get vaccinated and, in line with CDC regulations, wear face coverings indoors and in congested outdoor environments. Here are some additional details of the reopening:
- All state and national parks and beaches are open, with only limited closures at some sites.
- Visitors are encouraged to be vaccinated before coming to California, but it is not a requirement to travel.
- Operators of large outdoor events of more than 10,000 people, including professional sporting events and some theme parks, are encouraged to screen attendees for vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests, but screening is not mandatory.
- Operators of large indoor events of more than 5,000 people are required to screen attendees for vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests. Attendees should check guidelines with event operators when buying tickets or making reservations.