What is the current COVID-19 update? Is California open for leisure travel?
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, California has imposed a regional stay-at-home order tied to ICU bed availability, effectively banning non-essential travel by region as they dip below a set 15 percent capacity threshold, expected across most of the state in early December. Governor Gavin Newsom said he was “pulling the emergency brake” with this announcement, which will restrict business activity in affected areas. You can find more details here.
All visitors in the state should practice proper physical distancing and sanitation practices and are required to wear face coverings and follow all public health rules.
Please reference Visit California’s Travel Alerts for more information and links.
Is California accepting out-of-state visitors?
Yes, though the State Department of Health has recommended a 14-day self-quarantine for those traveling into California from other states. Visitors should call ahead to their intended destinations to learn about local restrictions. For more guidance, here is a collection of California’s local and regional tourism offices. We also ask that everyone embrace the California Responsible Travel Code.
What are the current restrictions?
California’s recovery is unfolding at different rates in different communities, and the advisories in place vary by county and region. The Dec. 4 regional stay-at-home order has increased the disparity of local rules and regulations, so it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with local guidelines and regulations in your destination. Also, as of Nov. 21, a limited stay-at-home order is in place for counties in the strictest tier of the state’s reopening roadmap. Most nonessential activity is prohibited between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., through December 21.
Can I fly to California?
Yes. There are no current restrictions on air travel to California from within the United States. International travel to the United States, including California, is still restricted in many places; find more details here. Also, please refer to this article for an in-depth look at new safety protocols that have been adopted at California airports.
What are the requirements upon arrival?
There are no official requirements upon arrival in California, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a detailed collection of safe travel practices that is worth reviewing. It’s also a good idea to review local restrictions and guidelines in your destination.
Will I be required to quarantine upon arrival?
No. There is no requirement to quarantine, however it has been recommended that anyone traveling from outside California self-quarantine for 14 days.
What is currently open?
Many attractions across the state have reopened, subject to local protocols, but please note that it is a dynamic situation and you should conduct careful research before traveling. Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District and Universal Studios Hollywood’s CityWalk, for instance, have reopened on a limited basis, but the bulk of both theme parks remain closed. For the most accurate information, contact the individual theme parks or attractions you plan to visit. Also, the What You Need to Know travel hub aggregates key information related to visiting hotels, restaurants, wineries, retail shopping outlets, breweries, zoos and aquariums, parks, and more.
Are the beaches open?
Most California beaches are open, but you should refer to local travel resources in your destination for the most current information. Also, here are some essential safety guidelines for visiting California beaches.
Are national parks open?
Yes. Before visiting, check individual park websites for more information on potential restrictions. It’s also a good idea to review the National Park Service’s COVID-19 information page, as well as this article showcasing what you need to know about visiting California parks.
Are campsites open?
California state parks have begun a phased reopening of campgrounds, and you can find the latest updates here. The National Park Service recommends checking with individual park sites for the latest on camping restrictions. For RV parks and other campgrounds in California, please refer to the information posted for each property.
Are hotels open for visitors?
Are restaurants open for dining?
Yes, to varying degrees, based on local guidelines. Many restaurants are focusing on takeout and delivery, while others offer outdoor seating on patios, sidewalks, or even on closed-off streets. Contact individual restaurants for more information and review this guide to dining in California restaurants.
Are wineries open? Will I be able to experience wine tasting?
California wineries in many counties across the state are now welcoming visitors back to their tasting rooms. Many vintners have adjusted their tasting-room configurations and practices to meet these guidelines, allowing winery visitors to fully enjoy the Golden State’s wines, hospitality, and idyllic vineyard views. Guests are encouraged to call ahead and/or make reservations. You can find more information about visiting California wineries here.
I’ll be traveling to California. Any restrictions for public restrooms?
While there are no official restrictions on public restrooms, many businesses—including some gas stations and fast-food outlets—have closed their public restrooms out of an abundance of caution. If you are embarking on a long road trip, consult the California Rest Areas map as part of your advance planning.
What are the best places to visit in California right now during the pandemic?
Each of California’s 12 travel regions has a great deal to offer, and you can find plenty of inspiration and information throughout VisitCalifornia.com. California’s urban communities have done a fantastic job utilizing outdoor spaces, including some truly innovative al fresco dining solutions. If you’re considering a road trip, be sure to order our tip-filled guide to motoring across the state and visit the Road Trip Republic hub. We’ve also assembled a collection of below-the-radar travel suggestions in our So You Think You Know series of content.
What do I need to know about wildfires in California?
Dry conditions have ignited several wildfires in California, affecting travel in parts of the state. Due to wind patterns, air quality has become an issue beyond these burn zones. As a precaution, some national forests remain closed. Active fires may limit access to some roads and travel destinations, including state parks. Travelers should call ahead to lodging providers and visitors’ bureaus at their intended destinations.
Does California have any mask requirements?
Yes. People in California are required to wear face coverings in public places under a statewide mandate. You should wear a mask in any indoor public space; while waiting in line; when receiving health care; on public transportation or when ride-sharing; as well as outdoors when you cannot physically distance at least six feet away from others. Read more about the guidance for face coverings here.