California Shutting Back Down Due to COVID-19 Spike
Governor turns back the dial on tourism
Noting an alarming spike in coronavirus cases across the State of California, Governor Newsom today dimmed the economic reopening switch a little more.
The governor’s order closes indoor operations statewide at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and cardrooms. Bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations, indoor and outdoor. Additionally, counties on the watchlist – which now numbers 30 and is expected to climb – will have to close indoor fitness centers, worship services, offices in non-essential sectors, malls and personal care services, such as hair salons.
Hotels can remain open in the counties that have authorized them.
The Governor said the move was inspired by health metrics that continue to look worse across the board. More and more rural counties are dangerously close to running out of ICU capacity. Statewide, the positivity rate of coronavirus tests has increased to 7.4%.
“This virus is not going away anytime soon… until there is a vaccine and effective therapies,” the Governor said.
This is sober news, but not completely unexpected in what we always anticipated would be a jagged recovery. It remains more important than ever that our industry redouble its efforts to encourage responsible travel.
- Ensuring safe, responsible behavior is a shared responsibility between visitors, residents and business owners and employees.
- This is especially important in areas with high visitation, where the economic livelihoods of residents and businesses depend heavily on tourism.
- Visitors need to abide by the tenets of the responsible travel code – call ahead to educate themselves on local conditions and regulations, plan to carry out activities in a responsible way to protect themselves and anyone they should contact and always wear a mask and practice physical distancing.
- Residents need to set the example for safe and responsible behavior by adopting the safety principles themselves. They must help visitors by explaining local rules and expectations and encourage compliance. Nonresidents need to know that many rural destinations have seasonal population increases – both from visitors and workers – but health systems that in most cases are not equipped to absorb pandemic-level usage.
- Business owners and their employees must not only comply with state- and county-issued health orders but communicate those rules clearly and consistently to visitors AND residents who do not comply. If patrons decline to comply, they should not be served.
- Law enforcement and licensing officials need to support everybody in the effort for safe and responsible activities and operations by intervening when necessary.
For those ready to travel, Visit California continues to encourage that they do so safely and responsibly – plan ahead, physically distance, wash hands and wear face coverings. President & CEO of Visit California Caroline Betetaurge urges everyone to share Visit California’s Responsible Travel Code using print and digital assets in its industry toolkit.