New travel advisory issued to curb COVID spread

By Heather Bailey, Staff Writer, Sonoma West Times & News, January 11, 2021

In an advisory updated on Jan. 6, the state of California issued a warning to Californians and those wishing to travel here.

“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,” reads a statement from the state. “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,” the statement concluded.

As a result of these concerns, the state is issuing the following recommendations, which supercede the Travel Advisory issued on Nov. 13 and are applicable starting Jan. 6.

Essential and Non-Essential Travel

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.”

Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature such as sightseeing, recreation, gambling or attending cultural events in the United States

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.

Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California, and should adhere to the quarantine procedures set forth below.

Quarantine Post-Travel

All persons arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries, should self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival, except as necessary to meet urgent critical health care 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.

A local health officer may determine if and when the situation within the local health officer’s jurisdiction warrants measures that are more restrictive than this statewide order, and retains authority to implement such measures.

The quarantine period was updated consistent with emerging science and the CDC’s latest recommendations.

This article was produced by Sonoma West Times & News, the hometown newspaper of Sebastopol and west county since 1889. See more news at