The California Department of Public Health issued updated guidance Wednesday, deterring residents from traveling more than 120 miles from their homes. Non-essential travelers from out of the state, or out of the country, are also being discouraged from coming into the state.
Essential travel is defined by the state as “associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or otherwise required or expressly authorized by law … including work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.” “Non-essential travel,” the state says, includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.
The advisory update comes as the state’s hospitals become increasingly overwhelmed with COVID patients. By the end of the first weekend in January, there were more than 45,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus. California on Friday recorded 36,385 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 bringing the state’s total to date to more than 2.5 million, according to estimates from the COVID Tracking Project.
“Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” the travel advisory says.
Anyone visiting or coming back to California from out of state are urged to self-quarantine for 10 days after arriving “except as necessary to meet urgent critical healthcare 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,” according to the advisory.