On November 13, 2020, in response to alarming increases in the incidence rates of COVID-19 in other countries and states, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued a travel advisory to California residents.

The travel advisory expressly recommends that California residents not engage in non-essential travel out of the state at this time. CDPH advises California residents to remain at home or close to home in order to reduce the risk of contracting and/or transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19. CDPH provides that travel itself may present a risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, particularly travel by a shared conveyance or common carrier, such as a commercial airplane, bus or railcar.

Importantly, the CDPH travel advisory recommends that any California resident who travels out of state, whether internationally or domestically, for non-essential reasons self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to California. During the self-quarantine, CDPH advises individuals to limit their interactions to only members of their immediate family.

While the CDPH travel advisory does not constitute an order for residents to stay home or to quarantine following high-risk travel out of state or by shared conveyance, the public health guidance is indicative of the seriousness of the current state of the present public health emergency.

Public agencies should consider how they intend to address the guidance and recommendations provided in the CDPH travel advisory. Public agencies may consider notifying employees and employee organizations about the CDPH guidance, recommending that employees not engage in high-risk travel during the holidays or until such time as CDPH and other public health authorities advise that the increased risk of such activity has abated, or undertaking other health and safety measures related to their operations.

If you have questions about this travel advisory and how it may affect your agency’s operations, LCW attorneys are available to answer your questions.