San Francisco orders mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers amid COVID-19 surge

ByJ.R. Stone and Melanie Woodrow via KGO logo
Friday, December 18, 2020
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San Francisco just ordered a mandatory quarantine of 10 days for anyone traveling, moving or returning to the city from anywhere outside the Bay Area, starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mayor London Breed announced on Thursday a public health order that includes a mandatory quarantine of 10 days for anyone traveling, moving or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

The order also discourages any non-essential travel within the 10-county Bay Area region.

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"I absolutely didn't know," said Danny Kin of San Francisco. Kin wasn't the only one who hadn't heard.

There was quite a bit of confusion from both San Francisco and other Bay Area travelers at San Francisco International Airport.

"I'm surprised my family didn't call me and say hey you have to hurry up and get home," said Judy Harris of Fremont.

The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18.

VIDEO: 'Pandemic fatigue': Bay Area reacts to SF's new travel quarantine

Those at SFO say travel has been down since Thanksgiving.

"Right now our passenger activity is more than 80 percent below what it was at this time last year," says SFO Spokesperson Doug Yakel.

While many we talked with say they'd quarantine regardless, some say they'd be more open to ideas like this if they hadn't already lost trust in the leaders issuing the orders.

"Because of the decisions made and the personal behavior of politicians I think people are just getting tired, and we're still willing to do the important things that work, and that maybe quarantining travelers but there's a lot of pandemic fatigue," says Christina Kalman of San Francisco.

RELATED: Bay Area travelers caught off guard by new quarantine mandate

There is an exception for those who are traveling for certain critical activities, such as medical professionals, first responders, and those traveling for official government business, or essential infrastructure work. There is also an exception for those traveling for medical care or travel required by a court order, such as transferring custody of a child. Visit this page for a full list of exemptions.

"COVID-19 cases are surging in San Francisco and across the country. Hospitals in the Bay Area are close to being overwhelmed," said Mayor Breed. "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. We need to do the right thing to protect ourselves, our neighbors and our loved ones and make sure that we can celebrate together when this is over."

The travel order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 18 and will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2021. It may be extended as necessary if the surge continues.

MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules

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