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Orange County COVID Travel Restrictions

What are the travel restrictions related to COVID-19 in Orange County? Conditions on the ground are subject to change at any time, so it is highly recommended to check with the health department official site for Orange County prior to travel for the most up-to-date information.

Orange County Covid Travel Restrictions

In general, the travel restrictions in the state (as well as for Orange County) involve observing CDC guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Beginning December 15, 2021, California is reimplementing a mask mandate, requiring masks in all indoor setting for all people, regardless of vaccination status. The mandate will be in effect until further notice.

Orange County COVID Travel Restrictions

The official site for the John Wayne Airport located in Orange County reminds travelers that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “requires face masks be worn by all travelers while on public transportation, including airports and aircraft”.

Furthermore, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines also mandate face masks when in the airport or onboard an airplane. When checking into John Wayne Airport, passengers over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask during the security checkpoint screening process.

If you attempt to enter the security screening process at the airport without a mask, you will be asked to wear one in order to enter the security checkpoint–those who refuse are not permitted past the screening area. This includes all terminals and gates.

Travelers should know that John Wayne Airport offers COVID-19 Rapid Testing in the departure area of Terminal B. Remember that certain airlines and many destinations may require such a test from an “approved partner”. This testing is not free.

Orange County COVID Guidelines You Should Know Before Traveling

Public health officials in Orange County have issued the following requirements:

Self-Quarantine For Those Exposed to COVID-19.

This rule applies to both visitors and residents–anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact should take the following steps:

  • If you have been exposed but are not showing symptoms, you must quarantine for 10 days and “may not leave their place of quarantine except to receive necessary medical care or to obtain such other goods or services necessary for their basic subsistence”.
  • If you are asymptomatic AND live or work in a “high-risk congregate living setting” such as a nursing home, prison, shelter, etc. OR if you live or work with “severely immunosuppressed persons” such as those who have had bone marrow or organ transplant procedures, you must quarantine for 14 days.
  • There are exceptions–those who have been exposed to COVID but have been fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine. Nor do those who have been exposed to COVID-19 but have had a previous case of COVID in the last three months (but not longer).

Other exceptions may apply; it’s best to contact the Orange County Department of Health for the most updated guidance for those who have been vaccinated, those who have not, and self-quarantine issues.

Orange County Mask Requirements

Above, we discussed the John Wayne Airport advisories for anyone flying to or from the airport. Orange County has a set of mask guidelines you should know:

Masks are required for EVERYONE regardless of vaccination status in indoor settings including but not limited to:

  • On public transportation of any kind
  • While using airports, bus stations, subway stations, train depots, etc.
  • K-12 schools
  • Childcare
  • Emergency shelters
  • Cooling centers
  • Senior care centers
  • Homeless shelters
  • Government buildings

Masks are required for vaccinated AND unvaccinated residents and tourists in all indoor businesses including restaurants, bars, theaters, etc. Certain exceptions will apply for children under the age of two, for those with medical conditions that may preclude mask-wearing, and other exceptions.

Orange County advises, “No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.”

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