Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that leisure travel in California could resume on June 12, San Diego’s tourism community is ready to welcome visitors back to safely explore the world-class destination. Hotels, restaurants, attractions and more have been diligently working with local officials to make sure San Diego is safe for visitors and residents alike, following industry reopening guidelines laid out by the County of San Diego and State of California.
“San Diego has begun reopening businesses in a safe way that protects and benefits both San Diegans and visitors,” said Julie Coker, President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “Tourism is vital to San Diego’s community and economy, so it’s exciting to see so many tourism businesses reopen and employees going back to work.”
Whether planning a weekend escape or an extended vacation, below is a list of tourism sectors currently open in San Diego.
• From spacious oceanfront and bayfront resorts to intimate properties in quiet, colorful neighborhoods, hotels are now open for leisure travelers. Extensive safety modifications include thorough cleaning in high-traffic areas such as hotel lobbies, front desk check-in counters and bell desks and leaving guest rooms vacant for 24 to 72 hours after a guest has departed. Physical distancing guidelines include ensuring at least six feet between and among employees, guests and the public as well as limiting the number of guests riding in an elevator and ensuring the use of face coverings.
• The region’s beautiful parks, beaches and trails are open. From hiking and biking to surfing and scuba diving, San Diego’s great outdoors provide a variety of activities that can be enjoyed while social distancing.
• Restaurants, bars, wineries and breweries have opened with adjusted operations. Safety modifications include suspending pre-set tables, eliminating shared food items like condiment bottles and salt and pepper shakers, and closing self-service machines and areas like buffets and salad bars. Physical distancing guidelines include expanding and prioritizing outdoor seating; encouraging reservations and discontinuing open seating; and installing physical barriers or partitions at cash registers and hostess stands where six-feet social distancing requirements could be difficult to maintain.
• Retail businesses including shopping malls, outlet centers, local boutiques and specialty shops in San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods are open to customers. Extensive cleaning and disinfecting protocols for in-store retail include providing customers with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes at entrances, exits, checkout stations and changing rooms; shopping malls and outlets centers must frequently disinfect common surfaces like ATM PIN pads, guardrails, touch screens and facility maps. Extensive physical distance guidelines require all retail businesses to ensure physical distancing of six feet between and among workers and customers in all common areas.
• Attractions and museums have set reopening dates, including Balboa Park’s San Diego Air & Space Museum (June 12) and San Diego Automotive Museum (June 19) as well as the popular USS Midway Museum along San Diego Bay (July 1). The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park reopen on June 20 with larger attractions following later in the summer. The extensive safety modifications include cleaning and disinfecting protocols like providing disposable maps, pamphlets and guides to guests and making them available digitally to be viewed on personal electronic devices. Extensive physical distance guidelines include adjusting maximum occupancy rules to limit the number of guests to support physical distancing; discontinuing group tours that combine households or individuals from different households; and designating separate routes for entry and exit through exhibits, galleries and viewing areas.
Safe Traveler Pledge
As the region reopens, the San Diego Tourism Authority encourages all visitors to pledge to follow behaviors for safe, healthy travel while in the destination, from wearing a mask or cloth face covering in public to being patient with staff at area hotels, restaurants and attractions as they learn to adapt to new safety procedures. Visitors can view San Diego’s “Safe Traveler Pledge” on the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website.
Air Travel Safety
For visitors traveling by plane, the San Diego International Airport in downtown is taking steps to safeguard the health of all airport users. Working closely with the Centers for Disease Control, San Diego County health officials, TSA and Customs and Border Protection, the airport has implemented measures to protect travelers and employees. All airport visitors, passengers, and employees are required to: wear a mask or facial covering in the airport, follow markings on floors at security checkpoints, airline ticket counters and concession areas, and adhere to six-feet social distancing rules. Air travelers can view the complete list of safety guidelines being implemented on the San Diego International Airport’s website.