San Diego Travel: Current Restrictions and What to Expect in 2021

The effects of 2020 are almost behind us. And although COVID-19 is still a serious concern, safe and effective vaccines are rolling out worldwide. Experts estimate that the worst of the pandemic will soon be behind us, and some sense of normalcy won’t be far behind. 

In the interim, it’s still incumbent upon all of us to continue to exercise caution in order to help stop the spread and keep ourselves safe while help is en route. To that end, here are the latest guidelines from San Diego County regarding the best ways visitors and residents alike can help keep themselves and each other safer.

The Current State of Travel in San Diego

The State of California lifted its state-wide stay-at-home order on January 25, 2021, meaning that each county can now set its own restrictions and guidelines. 

In San Diego, hotels are open, as are many of the city’s beautiful parks, beaches, outdoor spaces, and outdoor attractions. Outdoor dining is also available. To protect both visitors and locals, businesses are required to follow the Safe Reopening Plan laid out by the County of San Diego.

San Diego Safe Traveler Pledge

San Diego and its residents are excited about welcoming visitors back to their beautiful destination. In order to promote the safety of everyone, visitors are asked to follow the San Diego Safe Traveler Pledge.

  • Maintain at least six feet of distance from others when visiting local businesses
  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in public
  • Use contactless payment methods whenever possible
  • Abide by all local government orders or restrictions that may be in place
  • Follow CDC guidelines for minimizing the spread of COVID-19, including through hand washing for at least 20 seconds
  • Be patient and kind with staff at hotels, restaurants, and attractions as they learn to adapt to new procedures

What’s Open

As of January 25, 2021, the following are open with additional modifications, with masking-wearing and physical distancing required.

  • Restaurants: Open for outdoor service between the hours of 5 a.m. -10 p.m., with live entertainment and takeout or delivery allowed 24 hours.
  • Outdoor recreational facilities (beaches, parks, playgrounds, camping, boating, golf, recreational equipment rentals, tennis): These facilities are open, and food, drink and alcohol service is allowed. Campgrounds are open.
  • Retail: Indoor operation at 25% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Special hours are being arranged for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Shopping centers: Indoor access is allowed at 25% capacity, with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Food courts are currently closed.
  • Grocery stores: Stand-alone grocery stores can operate at 50% capacity. Special hours are being arranged for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels: Open.
  • Offices: Offices are open for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Outdoor only.
  • Places of worship: Outdoor only.
  • Political expression: Outdoor only.
  • Hair salons and barbershops: Outdoor only.
  • Personal care services (includes nail salons, tattoo, piercing, tanning): Outdoor only.
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums: Outdoor only.
  • Movie theaters: Outdoor only.
  • Wineries: Outdoor only, with live entertainment allowed.
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries that serve food: Outdoor only.
  • Family entertainment centers (includes kart racing, mini golf, batting cages): Outdoor only.
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering: Outdoor only.

What’s Closed

As of January 25, 2021, the following are either prohibited or closed: indoor dining, bars and breweries that do not serve food, indoor museum and attraction areas, indoor live and movie theaters, and large events and other large gatherings. Please note that travel across the U.S.-Mexico border is currently only allowed for trade and essential purposes.

  • Indoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks
  • Live concerts (drive-in concerts allowed)
  • Conventions

Be Smart, Be Safe

Of course, the single best thing you can do to stay safe is follow the advice of the Centers For Disease Control and California Department of Public Health. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and carry hand sanitizer with you in a purse, bag, or pocket. Avoid touching your face, especially after coming into contact with any publicly accessible surface. Maintain a safe six-foot distance from others outside your immediate family, and wear a suitable face covering at all times when in public to protect yourself and others from possible transmission.

Feel free to reach out to us via phone (858-581-3500), email, or at our website if you have any questions or concerns about an upcoming visit. The staff of Pacific Terrace wishes you and yours safe and happy travels.