California has long been a top travel destination for vacationers craving the salty sea air and cloud-free skies. The state offers breathtaking beaches, stunning Redwood forests, and exceptional cultural gems that attract tourists every year.
For some, semi-annual visits to the Golden State aren’t enough to correct sunlight deficiencies and satisfy thrill seekers’ appetites for Santa Cruz surf and climbing excursions in Joshua Tree National Park. As a result, many choose to pack their bags and make their dream of California living a reality.
That said, navigating travel or relocation during the COVID-19 is no small feat. Before you’re able to soak up all the West Coast has to offer (i.e., thrilling nightlife, unbeatable weather, and the world-renowned beaches), you’ll need to brush up on current COVID-19 safety precautions. There’s a lot to pay attention to, but luckily, California safety measures surrounding COVID-19 are relatively straightforward–even for those Midwesterners accustomed to more lax pandemic protocols.
1 How to safely move to California during the COVID-19 era
If you’re planning a move to California, living in some areas may be better than others, so you’ll need to choose wisely.
If you’re craving sunshine and warm weather, relocating to Southern California may be your best bet. Areas like Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego offer many coastlines to explore. With lots of fresh air, gorgeous beaches, and all the comforts of city life, these are excellent locales to consider for relocation.
That said, Northern California offers a plethora of benefits as well. There, you’ll find fragrant wineries, outstanding universities, and unparalleled innovation. The arts, shopping, and entertainment offerings in Northern California cities are unmatched.
Also, all of these areas maintain policies to promote public health, including indoor masking, easy-to-access COVID testing, and readily available vaccination sites.
Overall, moving to any of these areas within California is exceptionally safe. Still, before you pack your bags, you should review the top things to know before moving to California.
2 California’s mask policy
Whether you’re planning a vacation or a permanent move, it’s important to understand California’s mask policy.
Until February 15, 2022, there’s an indoor mask mandate in place throughout the state. That means everyone has to wear a mask in all public indoor settings, including public transit, healthcare settings, and schools.
3 Attending large indoor events in California
If you’re traveling to California for a well-populated indoor event, like a concert, art festival, or performing arts performance, the state requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Officials also need these criteria for outdoor mega-events like football games.
The test must be recent, meaning within the last two days of getting a PCR testing and within the last day of getting an antigen test. Luckily, tests are readily available throughout the state and relatively easy to secure.
4 California vaccination requirements
Certain areas of the state, like Los Angeles, require vaccination proof for entering some spaces like restaurants and bars. Other regions, like Napa Valley, leave vaccination requirements up to the business owner’s discretion. Be sure to check the specific area you’re visiting for vaccination requirements.
5 Testing for COVID in California
California makes testing for COVID relatively simple. Residents receive free testing at numerous drive-up sites or by appointment at pharmacies throughout the state. There are also at-home tests available for a low cost at most pharmacies.
6 California isolation and quarantine policies
California doesn’t require travelers to be isolate or quarantined upon entering the state. However, health experts suggest isolating for ten days if you test positive for COVID-19. Authorities also offer quarantining for at least five days if you’re exposed to the virus.
Whether for a vacation or a relocation, traveling to California is always exciting. The golden state offers plenty of sunshine and picturesque views, but during COVID-19, there are also health policies to be aware of.
Remember, your relocation to the West Coast won’t be all sunshine, rainbows, and surf’s up. Instead, you’ll need to ensure you understand the safety measures California expects residents and visitors to follow before you pack your suitcase. Without a firm understanding of COVID-19 restrictions, you risk feeling blindsided by vaccination requirements, mandatory testing, and stringent quarantine policies.