Can I journey proper now? Right here’s what Los Angeles County says.

For months now I’ve been answering, “Can I travel outside of LA?” has meant a series of “yes, but …” answers. That’s still the case as we move through the holidays, but the latest state and county advice is more likely to send a “You really shouldn’t” message.

This happened for the first time after a press conference on November 12th at which Dr. Barbara Ferrer, LA County Director of Public Health, asked some questions about Thanksgiving travel and holiday gathering plans. And put simply, amid the rapidly increasing fall rates in the county, she said, “It’s just not a good idea.”

It has gotten considerably worse since then, with both LA County and California issuing residence orders. In particular, non-essential travel is discouraged, and state orders go so far as to reserve hotels to restrict leisure travelers and reservations outside of the state.

What does that actually mean for your vacation?

Can I go on vacation with the family?

We’ll start with the meeting part. The CDC officially says that “the safest way to celebrate winter holidays is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you.”

And what do the local rules say about it? Although the county allowed brief outdoor gatherings with two other families in early fall, current LA and California directives specifically prohibit all public or private gatherings with anyone outside your household, except for religious services or outdoor protests. Although the gatherings were previously only limited by a curfew of 10 p.m., this is always the case now – and at least until December 28th.

It is important to note that – for people who inevitably ignore these rules – testing does not provide a free pass to meet up with friends and family. Ferrer specifically notes that it just doesn’t work that way. “Don’t rely on tests to protect you or your loved one from infection,” Ferrer said. “We saw example after example where testing … doesn’t prevent people from transmitting and acquiring the virus.”

Can I travel outside of LA on vacation?

As for travel, the county can’t stop you from leaving LA. However, Ferrer clearly advises against it. “Obviously, it is preferable that people don’t fly home for vacations, students, or others at this time,” she said. “Mainly because we’re not the only place where there is a huge surge in some cases.”

There’s one big caveat, too: while you can leave your home, hotels and accommodations under the regional state-at-home regulation (which is currently most of California) cannot accept vacation travelers.

Prior to this, California made a joint statement with Oregon and Washington on November 13th urging non-essential travel outside the state and urging people to quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country (this is not the case). t a prohibition or restriction, but advice). This is also in line with CDC recommendations that “postponing travel and staying home are the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”

Can the family visit me during the holidays?

The California regional stay-at-home order, which runs through Christmas at least, specifically states that hotels or other lodging establishments can only accept or honor reservations from visitors outside the state for non-essential travel if the reservation is long enough to accommodate to meet the aforementioned quarantine conditions. Similarly, the order prohibits such reservations for in-state travelers as well. What you want to do in your own home is nobody’s going to stop you, but it’s important to keep track of everything we mentioned before about non-essential travel.

What exactly makes travel essential or not essential?

California’s travel advice shows the difference between the two. In relation to family visit, travel to medical care would be considered essential. But just swing by to share a meal? Not essential.

What about returning to LA if I decide to go?

With all that said, if you still plan to get on a car or plane, the county is asking you to quarantine for 14 days upon your return. “And the tighter you can limit your activities during those 14 days, the better we are all,” said Ferrer. “So yeah, it doesn’t mean going to your grocery store, it doesn’t mean meeting with others outside, it really means limiting your interactions with other people. Of course you can go out and walk alone, we don’t have a problem with that … but no we don’t want you to go to restaurants and sit and eat outside and we don’t want you to go to retail establishments when we do You asked for quarantine. “

Is there any other advice I should consider?

You probably know the exercise at this point, but in general: stay at home as often as possible, except for essential services, wear a mask, stand three feet away from others, avoid crowds and large gatherings, stay closed Home if you feel sick, get tested if you have symptoms, isolate if you test positive 10 days and 24 hours after fever and symptoms have subsided, and quarantine for 14 days if you are in close contact with someone that tested positive, or when you were in a crowd or gathering.

We originally posted this story about Thanksgiving Travel on November 12th, but we’ve since updated it with general guidelines for vacation travel.

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