May 11, 2021

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Just Do Travel

California stay-home order effectively bans leisure travel

4 min read

California’s stay-at-home announcement also includes effectively banning leisure travel. All non-essential travel is restricted statewide.This is an effort to stop people from mixing with others outside their household, getting the virus, and spreading it once they get home. But hotels and flights are already booked. So, what now?The leisure travel mandate heavily relies on the honor system. The California Hotel and Lodging Association says aside from the existing COVID safety measures and letting guests know of the mandate– ultimately, it’s the individual’s responsibility to cancel. Hotels will not interrogate travelers. “We’re trying our hardest to notify and make sure everyone is an essential traveler,” Lynn Mohrfeld with the California Hotel and Lodging Association said. “That said, the onus is on the visitor more than it is on the hotel to say that they are an essential traveler. Just as we’ve seen with the holidays, if someone wants to do the wrong thing and travel and ignore these regulations, they probably can.”Airports fall under federal jurisdiction. So, the governor’s announcement doesn’t change anything for Sacramento International Airport operationally. But it’s hard to know what the mandate will have on passengers canceling flights. “Passengers should check with their airlines, make sure flights haven’t been changed or canceled. They should also be aware the mask mandate needs to be in effect,” Samantha Mott with SMF said. “We saw roughly 50% of what we did last year during the Thanksgiving holiday. We might be looking at the same numbers.” Visit Sacramento explains hotels bottomed out at 9% capacity at the beginning of the pandemic. Now that’s bumped up to a modest 25-30% and sometimes higher on weekends due to local staycations. But that’s looking to be short lived. “It’s such a challenge because the rules have changed so many times. The restaurants and the hotels have really pivoted to meet the requirements and will continue to do so,” Mike Testa with Visit Sacramento said. “Everybody is struggling and unfortunately we, or anybody else, don’t have the answer on how to make it better at this point.” At this time, Yosemite said national parks are still working out what the impact will be to operations. California State Parks announced regions triggered by the 15% ICU capacity will temporarily close campsites– but day use will remain open. As for ski resorts, they can remain open with existing COVID-19 protocols– but they must close food and beverage services.

California’s stay-at-home announcement also includes effectively banning leisure travel. All non-essential travel is restricted statewide.

This is an effort to stop people from mixing with others outside their household, getting the virus, and spreading it once they get home. But hotels and flights are already booked. So, what now?

The leisure travel mandate heavily relies on the honor system.

The California Hotel and Lodging Association says aside from the existing COVID safety measures and letting guests know of the mandate– ultimately, it’s the individual’s responsibility to cancel. Hotels will not interrogate travelers.

“We’re trying our hardest to notify and make sure everyone is an essential traveler,” Lynn Mohrfeld with the California Hotel and Lodging Association said. “That said, the onus is on the visitor more than it is on the hotel to say that they are an essential traveler. Just as we’ve seen with the holidays, if someone wants to do the wrong thing and travel and ignore these regulations, they probably can.”

Airports fall under federal jurisdiction. So, the governor’s announcement doesn’t change anything for Sacramento International Airport operationally. But it’s hard to know what the mandate will have on passengers canceling flights.

“Passengers should check with their airlines, make sure flights haven’t been changed or canceled. They should also be aware the mask mandate needs to be in effect,” Samantha Mott with SMF said. “We saw roughly 50% of what we did last year during the Thanksgiving holiday. We might be looking at the same numbers.”

Visit Sacramento explains hotels bottomed out at 9% capacity at the beginning of the pandemic. Now that’s bumped up to a modest 25-30% and sometimes higher on weekends due to local staycations. But that’s looking to be short lived.

“It’s such a challenge because the rules have changed so many times. The restaurants and the hotels have really pivoted to meet the requirements and will continue to do so,” Mike Testa with Visit Sacramento said. “Everybody is struggling and unfortunately we, or anybody else, don’t have the answer on how to make it better at this point.”

At this time, Yosemite said national parks are still working out what the impact will be to operations.

California State Parks announced regions triggered by the 15% ICU capacity will temporarily close campsites– but day use will remain open.

As for ski resorts, they can remain open with existing COVID-19 protocols– but they must close food and beverage services.