Los Angeles County Issues Mandatory Self-Quarantine for Non-Essential Travel
Los Angeles County Issues Mandatory Self-Quarantine for Non-Essential Travel

Effective beginning December 31, 2020, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health published a Mandatory Directive on Travel (Appendix W) and issued a Revised Temporary Order, both of which require a mandatory quarantine of at least 10 days after non-essential travel outside the Southern California Region (the counties of Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura). 

The Order and Travel Directive apply to Los Angeles County residents and non-residents who enter Los Angeles County from outside the Southern California Region.

“Quarantine” means staying at home or another place of temporary shelter and away from contact with others, including those in one’s household (unless they are also under quarantine), for a period of 10 days. Quarantine may end after Day 10 if the traveler(s) never had COVID-19 symptoms but they must continue to monitor themselves for such symptoms for 14 days after arrival in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County’s self-quarantine Order and Travel Directive is in furtherance of the State’s Travel Advisory, which requires Californians to stay home or in their Region and avoid non-essential travel, and requests those traveling into the state to self-quarantine for 14 days. In this regard, the Directive states that all non-essential travel is strongly discouraged and should be postponed until after the current COVID-19 surge subsides.

Violations of the Los Angeles County Directive or Order is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine ($50 to $1,000), imprisonment (90 days to 6 months) or both. 

There are numerous exemptions from the Los Angeles County mandatory quarantine, as follows: 

  1. Licensed healthcare professionals and all persons commuting or traveling to perform work at a health facility, as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1250, in the County of Los Angeles.
  2. Any person who is commuting to or traveling solely in the course of performing an Essential Government Function.
  3. Any person commuting to or traveling solely in the course of performing work for Essential Infrastructure, where that work cannot be done via remote methods.
  4. Any person traveling solely for the purpose of performing or training for essential critical infrastructure work, as defined by the State Public Health Officer, which includes but is not limited to essential travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security, but only to the extent that the employer determines that it would otherwise lack sufficient staffing to perform or train for such work.
  5. Persons solely transiting through Los Angeles County and not staying overnight are not required to quarantine.
  6. Persons traveling to Los Angeles County to obtain medical or dental treatment services from a health facility are required to quarantine upon arrival but may leave their household or place of quarantine to obtain those services.
  7. Any person providing care to any minors, dependents, elderly persons or persons with disabilities and whose travel was solely for the purpose of providing that care.
  8. A member of a professional or collegiate sports team, including team staff, who travels solely for away games, competitions and/or training, for which the team or league has an existing, approved Health and Safety Plan.
  9. Personnel of a film or media production operating within the County of Los Angeles, when traveling to the county solely for purpose of employment with the film or media production.
  10. Persons who are otherwise required to quarantine pursuant to the Directive may leave their household or place of quarantine to the extent necessary to comply with a court order, to make an appearance in a court of law or administrative proceeding, or as required by law enforcement.

Individuals who are exempt from mandatory quarantine requirements are required to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after arrival, and if they should develop symptoms during that period, must isolate themselves following instructions available here.

The Directive is consistent with current rental restrictions. Pursuant to the statewide Stay at Home Order, “all hotels, lodging and short-term rentals cannot accept or honor out-of-state reservations for non-essential travel, unless the reservation is for at least the minimum time period required for quarantine and the persons identified in the reservation will quarantine in the hotel or lodging entity until after that time period has expired.”  When the Regional Stay at Home Order is in effect, hotels and lodging can only offer accommodation for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.

The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Joanne Warriner.

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