City and County of San Francisco Announces Health Order Discouraging Unnecessary Travel and Implementing Mandatory Quarantine
As cases surge and ICU beds are near capacity, San Francisco requires those traveling into San Francisco from outside of the Bay Area to quarantine for 10 days
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced a public health order that places a mandatory quarantine of 10 days on anyone traveling, moving, or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area. Limited exceptions apply to people who are traveling for certain critical activities. The new order also strongly discourages any non-essential travel within the 10-county Bay Area region.
“COVID-19 cases are surging in San Francisco and across the country. Hospitals in the Bay Area are close to being overwhelmed,” said San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. “We must do whatever we can to contain the virus and stop its circulation in our community. Now is not the time to travel and risk being exposed or exposing others. We need to do the right thing to protect ourselves, our neighbors and our loved ones and make sure that we can celebrate together when this is over.”
The travel quarantine order strongly discourages non-essential travel of any kind and within any distance, including from one location to another within the Bay Area. Additionally, it requires anyone who comes to San Francisco to quarantine for 10 days if they spent any time outside the following 9 Bay Area counties: San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Santa Cruz. This includes returning residents, people moving to San Francisco, those who work in San Francisco, and visitors, unless specifically exempted by the order.
The travel quarantine order allows exemptions for medical professionals, first responders, official government business, essential infrastructure work, and other activities, including any travel to receive medical care or travel required by a court order, like transferring custody of a child. People transiting through San Francisco International Airport on connecting flights and not staying overnight in San Francisco are not required to quarantine. For a full list of exemptions visit www.sfcdcp.org/travel.
Individuals required to quarantine must remain home without physical interaction with others outside their household except in emergency or health care situations. They are not allowed to go to work, school, or any other venue outside their home for 10 days. For further assistance during quarantine, visit sf.gov/quarantining-covid-19
The restriction on non-essential travel and the mandatory quarantine is necessary due to rapid and widespread COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations that threaten our region’s ability to provide intensive care for critically ill patients. As of Wednesday, December 16th the Bay Area’s ICU capacity had fallen below 15% and triggered the State of California’s Regional Stay Home order. Infection rates outside the Bay Area continue to be Travel outside the Bay Area increases an individual’s chance of getting infected and spreading the virus to others upon their return , especially since the nature of travel usually includes interactions with many people. To protect San Franciscans, this health order seeks to quarantine those who are at risk of being infected due to their travels so that they cannot spread COVID-19 to others in the community.
“This virus spreads through human interaction and social gatherings, including through people with no symptoms. We need to take steps now to control the spread of the virus and save lives,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health, City and County of San Francisco. “Quarantining people who have traveled and been in contact with others is one way to help manage the spread of COVID-19.”
The travel order becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. on December 18, 2020 and will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on January 4, 2021 and may be extended as necessary if the surge continues. For the full health order and answers to frequently asked questions about the health order, visit www.sfcdcp.org/travel. For information on celebrating the holidays safely at home, visit www.sf.gov/HolidaysAtHome.