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Can I travel right now? Here’s what Los Angeles County says.

Here are some recommendations and quarantine requirements if you decide to get away for a little.

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Written by
Michael Juliano
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For months now, answering “can I travel outside of L.A.?” has meant a series of “yes, but…” sort of responses. But with L.A. fully reopened again, that answer is finally a solid “yes.”

California’s travel advisory has been retired, and Los Angeles County has scrapped most of its rules, as well. If you’re unvaccinated, though, L.A. still suggests following the CDC’s travel recommendations.

So here’s what you need to know right now.

Do I need to quarantine when traveling to L.A.?

Nope—as long as you’ve been fully vaccinated. That means if it’s been more than two weeks since your second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or your first and only shot of the Johnson & Johnson one, then you don’t need to quarantine as long as you’re not experiencing any symptoms.

But if you haven’t been fully vaccinated, non-essential travelers who arrive in L.A. County from another state or country should quarantine for at least 10 days. This applies to all modes of transportation, whether by plane, car or train, as well as to locals returning home. If you get tested within three to five days of your arrival and receive a negative result, you can cut your quarantine down to only seven days. In addition, the CDC advises that you get tested one to three days before you first travel.

What exactly does it mean to quarantine? That means remaining at home or wherever you’re temporarily staying and avoiding all contact with other people, including others in your household unless they too are under quarantine. If you do start experiencing symptoms or test positive, you’ll need to isolate for 10 days and until you are fever-free for 24 hours.

So does that mean I can I travel outside of L.A.?

Yep, though if you’re unvaccinated the CDC recommends delaying travel until you’ve gotten your jab. Regardless, you’ll want to follow the precautions detailed above.

Do I need to wear a mask in L.A.?

If you’re fully vaccinated, then no except for a few exceptions we’ll outline below. If you’re not vaccinated, you’ll need to wear one whenever you’re indoors in a public place.

Regardless of your fax status, you’ll still need to wear a mask on public transit, in K–12 schools, at doctors’ offices, prisons and shelters. In addition, individual businesses can still decide to require visitors to wear masks.

Can I spend time with family?

Yes, but like travel there are some slight changes depending on whether or not you’ve been vaccinated.

If you’re fully vaccinated, though, you’re free to gather indoors or outdoors with no masks or distancing required. That also applies to fully vaccinated people who visit a single household of unvaccinated people (only as long as that unvaccinated household isn’t at a severe risk of illness).

For unvaccinated people, the CDC suggests that you keep things outside—with masks on and six feet of distancing between household units—for informal social gatherings. You can move things indoors under those same guidelines, but it should really only be with people who’ve been vaccinated.

Can family come and visit me?

Certainly. Just keep everything we mentioned above in mind—because, yes, things are remarkably safer now than they’ve been in over a year, but private gatherings have largely been responsible for the previous spikes we saw.

Don’t forget: If you have family visiting and don’t want them staying in your home, they can stay at hotels or short-term rentals. They’ll still be subject to any out-of-region quarantine rules, though, if they’re unvaccinated. 

Is there any other advice I should keep in mind?

Wear a mask if you’re taking a plane, train, bus or boat into or out of L.A. Make sure to still practice proper hygiene (wash those hands!). Don’t travel at all if you’re not feeling well. And if you’re unvaccinated, make sure to follow the quarantine rules and to get tested if you’re feeling sick.

We originally published this story on November 12, 2020 about Thanksgiving travel, but we’ve since updated it with evolving travel guidelines.

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