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California COVID Travel Restrictions

What are the COVID travel restrictions for the State of California? At press time, the state has declared itself open and welcoming visitors. But there are recommendations for gathering, travel, social distancing, etc.

California Covid Travel Restrictions

These are not standardized in all counties and your experience may vary depending on where you arrive in the state, the means of transportation, etc. We’ll explore the specifics of those issues below.

California COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

There are no actual restrictions in California for travel but some airports require all travelers from outside the state to read and acknowledge an online publication explaining the Centers For Disease Control guidelines for safe travel and gatherings.

You may be required to submit an acknowledgment of these guidelines prior to arrival at the airport.

The State of California advises travelers to follow CDC guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated travel as applicable.

None of the above should be interpreted to mean that there are no local mask requirements or social distancing requirements–local businesses and employers are required to comply with state guidance on the mask issue.

California COVID-19 Mask Requirements

Update: As of December 15, 2021, California has reinstated a mask mandate requiring ALL persons regardless of vaccination status to wear a mask in ALL indoor settings. The mandate will remain in effect until further notice.

All in the state of California are required to wear a mask on public transportation, in healthcare facilities of any kind, schools, “youth settings”, emergency centers, cooling centers, adult care, and elder care facilities, etc.

  • Everyone is required to wear masks in the following settings:
    • Public transit
    • Healthcare settings (including long term care facilities)
    • Adult and senior care facilities
    • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
    • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
    • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers

Masks are required for the vaccinated AND unvaccinated and must be worn by them in places including (but not limited to):

  • Retail establishments of all kinds
  • Restaurants
  • Theaters/venues
  • Entertainment centers
  • Meetings
  • Government offices

Some are exempt from these mask requirements including children under two, those with medical issues, disabilities that may complicate wearing a mask, the hearing impaired, and those who must work in areas where safety guidelines forbid the wear of external jewelry, etc.

COVID-19 Is Not The Only Issue Complicating California Travel

COVID travel restrictions are also not the only travel issues that may affect California–wildfires have also complicated travel and tourism in the state in the past, so it is crucial to check with the local authority at your final destination in the state to learn what may be required to meet both COVID-19 travel requirements and avoid running into problems with local wildfires where applicable.

More information is available at the California State Government official site.

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