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SF’s Mandatory 10-Day Travel Quarantine (Dec. 18 – Jan. 4)

Thanks KRON4 for reporting the just announced update that San Francisco has issued a new quarantine order.

Starting December 18, people coming in from outside the Bay Area counties must quarantine for 10 days.

UPDATE: Originally scheduled to end on January 4, 2021, the travel quarantine has been extended “indefinitely” as of 12/31/20

San Francisco has issued a health order mandating a travel quarantine. It will be in effect at 12:01 am on December 18. It will last at least until January 4, 2021. The City says it may extend the travel quarantine if the surge continues in the Bay Area region.

You must stay put, in your home or hotel room. Do not leave, except to get healthcare. Get food or groceries delivered. See guidance about quarantining.

This rule applies to people coming into San Francisco from outside the Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma). This includes anyone who lives the Bay Area who traveled outside the area and is returning.

What does the new travel order do?

It requires anyone traveling, moving, or returning to San Francisco from outside the 10-county Bay Area to quarantine for 10 days to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Some limited exemptions apply. It also strongly discourages any non-essential travel within that Bay Area region.

When does SF’s new travel order take effect?

It takes effect on Friday, December 18 at 12:01 a.m.

When does the order end?

The travel quarantine will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on January 4, 2021 and may be extended as necessary if the surge continues.

Which Bay Area Counties Have Quarantine?

What are the 10 Bay Area counties that someone could travel through and not be required to quarantine upon arriving in San Francisco?

  • San Francisco
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Alameda
  • Contra Costa
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Napa
  • Marin
  • Santa Cruz


You do not have to quarantine when traveling to:

  • Do essential work
  • Work at a business allowed to be open (if otherwise short on staff)
  • Get needed healthcare
  • Care for someone
  • Comply with a court order
  • Play sports on an approved team
  • Work on an approved film or media crew
  • Get on a connecting flight at SFO
  • Go through SF and not staying overnight

You should still quarantine when you are not doing the activity that’s exempt.

You also do not have to quarantine if you started your trip before today (December 17). Although, it’s much safer if you do quarantine.

Who is required to quarantine under the new travel order?

Anyone who in the 10 days before arriving in San Francisco spent any time outside of the 10 Bay Area counties and stays in San Francisco for at least 24 hours, including returning residents, people moving to the City, and visitors, unless specifically exempted by the health order.

There are exemptions for medical professionals, first responders, official government purposes, essential infrastructure work, and others, including any travel required by a court order, like transferring custody of children.

Those who began their travel before the travel order was issued are not required to quarantine upon returning to San Francisco, but they are strongly urged to do so.

People transiting through San Francisco International Airport on connecting flights and not staying overnight in San Francisco are not required to quarantine.

How will this be enforced?

Violation of or failure to comply with this order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. Most people have done a good job looking out for their neighbors and following the health orders, and we expect businesses and residents will continue to do that with this order. San Francisco will continue its approach of first educating people about what is required under the health orders, but the City will take additional enforcement steps if the situation demands.

Avoid traveling even within the Bay Area

You must avoid traveling outside of San Francisco. There is a large surge across the country. You could bring more COVID-19 back to SF.

More details about the travel quarantine

See official guidance, including translations, from the Department of Public Health.

> Read more af SF.gov

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