San Diego COVID-19 Travel Updates

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has made 2020 a very challenging year for us all. Even so, 2021 looks to be a better year. Vaccines are rolling out. Outcomes are improving. Help is on the way.

Still, until a majority of Americans can be inoculated against the virus, it’s important for all of us to do everything we can to stop the spread. To that end, here is an overview of the latest State of California and San Diego County COVID-19 guidelines for locals and travelers alike.  

Safety Tiers and What They Mean

The State of California is working from a “tiered” safety system in order to help categorize risk and communicate action based on case counts. A given region’s tier may change at any time based on a variety of factors, and each categorization carries its own set of guidelines. For more information on how the state is handling tiers, what they mean, and the actions you need to take, please visit the State of California’s COVID-19 Information Page

The Current State of Travel in San Diego

The State of California lifted its state-wide stay-at-home order on January 25, 2021, meaning that each county can now set its own restrictions and guidelines. 

In San Diego, hotels are open, as are many of the city’s beautiful parks, beaches, outdoor spaces, and outdoor attractions. Outdoor dining is also available. To protect both visitors and locals, businesses are required to follow the Safe Reopening Plan laid out by the County of San Diego.


As of January 25, 2021, the following are open with additional modifications, with masking-wearing and physical distancing required.

  • Restaurants: Open for outdoor service between the hours of 5 a.m. -10 p.m., with live entertainment and takeout or delivery allowed 24 hours.
  • Outdoor recreational facilities (beaches, parks, playgrounds, camping, boating, golf, recreational equipment rentals, tennis): These facilities are open, and food, drink and alcohol service is allowed. Campgrounds are open.
  • Retail: Indoor operation at 25% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Special hours are being arranged for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Shopping centers: Indoor access is allowed at 25% capacity, with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Food courts are currently closed.
  • Grocery stores: Stand-alone grocery stores can operate at 50% capacity. Special hours are being arranged for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels: Open.
  • Offices: Offices are open for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Outdoor only.
  • Places of worship: Outdoor only.
  • Political expression: Outdoor only.
  • Hair salons and barbershops: Outdoor only.
  • Personal care services (includes nail salons, tattoo, piercing, tanning): Outdoor only.
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums: Outdoor only.
  • Movie theaters: Outdoor only.
  • Wineries: Outdoor only, with live entertainment allowed.
  • Bars, breweries, and distilleries that serve food: Outdoor only.
  • Family entertainment centers (includes kart racing, mini golf, batting cages): Outdoor only.
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering: Outdoor only.


As of January 25, 2021, the following are either prohibited or closed: indoor dining, bars and breweries that do not serve food, indoor museum and attraction areas, indoor live and movie theaters, and large events and other large gatherings. Please note that travel across the U.S.-Mexico border is currently only allowed for trade and essential purposes.

  • Indoor playgrounds
  • Indoor recreational facilities
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks
  • Live concerts (drive-in concerts allowed)
  • Conventions

Protect Yourself

Of course, the single best thing you can do to stay safe is follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and California Department of Public Health. Stay indoors whenever possible, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and carry hand sanitizer with you in a purse, bag, or pocket. Avoid touching your face, especially after coming into contact with any publicly accessible surface. Maintain a safe six-foot distance from others outside your immediate family and wear a suitable face covering at all times when in public to protect yourself and others from possible transmission.

Feel free to reach out to us via phone (800-662-8899), email, or at our website if you have any questions or concerns about an upcoming visit. The team and management at Holiday Inn Bayside San Diego wishes you and yours safe and happy travels.