Anyone visiting, moving in, or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area will now be required to quarantine for 10 days under a new health order intended to slow an unprecedented spread of coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm hospitals, officials announced in a news release on Thursday.
The new health order also strongly discourages any nonessential travel within the 10-county Bay Area region.
“Covid-19 cases are surging in San Francisco and across the country. Hospitals in the Bay Area are close to being overwhelmed,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “We must do whatever we can to contain the virus and stop its circulation in our community. Now is not the time to travel and risk being exposed or exposing others.”
The health order comes after officials announced Wednesday the entire San Francisco Bay Area will be under California’s stay-at-home order starting Friday after the region’s intensive care unit capacity plunged below 15%, raising the number of residents under the restrictions to more than 39 million statewide.
Limited exceptions to the quarantine order will apply to people who are traveling for certain critical activities, the release added. Some people, including medical professionals, first responders, workers for official government business, and essential infrastructure workers will be exempt from the new health order.
The new travel restriction and 10-day mandatory quarantine is “necessary due to rapid and widespread Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations that threaten our region’s ability to provide intensive care for critically ill patients,” the release said.
The travel order will begin Friday at midnight and will remain in effect until Jan. 4. Officials said the order may be extended if the surge continues.