Updated January 6, 2021
The incidence of COVID-19 is increasing in many states and countries, even as California continues to grapple with its own surge of COVID-19 cases. Persons arriving in California from other states or Californians returning from other states or countries could introduce new sources of infection (potentially including new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus) to California. Intra-state travel, likewise threatens to exacerbate community spread within California—particularly because travel itself (especially the use of shared conveyances in air, bus, or rail travel) can increase a person's chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Amid the current COVID-19 surge, it is imperative that California take steps necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19 and contain new sources of infection. The State is issuing the following recommendations, which supercede the Travel Advisory issued on November 13, 2020 and shall apply prospectively from January 6, 2021:
1. Except in connection with essential travel, Californians should avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one's place of residence, or to other states or countries. Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California.
2. Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California, and should adhere to the quarantine procedures set forth in Paragraph 3.
3. All persons arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries, should self-quarantine for 10 days [ii] after arrival, except as necessary to meet urgent critical healthcare staffing needs or to otherwise engage in emergency response. Additionally, this recommendation does not apply to individuals who routinely cross state or country borders for essential travel [iii].
A Local Health Officer may determine if and when the situation within the Local Health Offficer's jurisdiction warrants measures that are more restrictive than this statewide order, and retains authority to implement such measures.
i "Non-essential travel" includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.
ii The quarantine period was updated consistent with emerging science and the CDC's latest recommendations.
iii "Essential travel" is travel associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or otherwise required or expressly authorized by law (including other applicable state and local public health directives), including work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.