The novel coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th, 2020. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health risk for most people in the United States is thought to be low, however the utmost caution should be used when travelling.
On March 16th, Governor Inslee temporarily closed restaurants, bars, as well as recreational and entertainment facilities. A stay-at-home order was issued on March 30th allowing only essential travel. Though the number of new cases in Washington has begun to decrease, to continue this positive trend hyper-vigilance is needed.
A 4-phase plan was introduced by the Governor on May 1st. The plan sets out a careful course to reemerge from the pandemic. It is designed to incrementally open Washington for business. Currently, most Washington counties are in Phase 1 which allows for some local outdoor recreation that can safely be done while maintaining social distancing.
Phase 2 allows gatherings of no more than 5 people, limited local non-essential travelling, and the opening of restaurants at less than 50% capacity. So far only Whitman, Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Wahkiakum, Skamania, and Stevens counties have been approved for Phase 2.
Please visit our Washington State Coronavirus Response page for more guidelines.
Visitors and residents should follow the same common-sense precautions as they would with any illness – frequent hand washing, avoidance of sick people, etc.
Some group gatherings have been postponed, and some communities may have more specific health guidelines. Travelers planning a visit should call their hotel and local visitors bureau for information specific to their locations.
We know that travel plans may be disrupted right now, but we’ll be here when you’re ready to reconnect and decompress on a getaway together.
Helpful information for travellers to Washington:
- The U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control have issued advisories for travel to foreign countries with sizeable COVID-19 outbreaks:
- Travelers arriving to the U.S. from China are required to be monitored for 14 days
- The CDC operates public health entry screening/quarantines at the 13 U.S. airports and border crossings in El Paso and San Diego. Airport screening checkpoints for Chinese inbound flights include Seattle-Tacoma (SEA); New York (JFK); Los Angeles (LAX); San Francisco (SFO); Chicago (ORD); and Atlanta (ATL); Anchorage (ANC); Boston (BOS); Dallas (DFW); Detroit (DTW); Minneapolis (MSP); Newark (EWR); Washington Dulles (IAD); Philadelphia (PHL); and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU).
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) travel advisory
- The airport has installed additional hand sanitizers and dispenser stations and regular airport cleanings are using hospital-grade disinfectants. Janitorial contractors have been trained in bio-hazard cleaning in case it's needed. Cleaning protocols for employee shuttle buses, buses serving the rental car facility, and bigger transport buses that shuttle passengers to and from planes have been stepped up and improved.
- A webpage devoted to Covid-19 resources throughout Washington can be found here.
- On 3/23, Washington State Parks and Recreation announced the closure of all state parks until further notice. Details can be found here.
Public Health and Traveler Resources
- Travelers are encouraged to follow guidance issued by official public health sources
- Washington State Department of Health
- Washington State Health Care Authority
General COVID-19 Information