Published 06/18/2020 at 7:43 PM PDT
By OREGON TRAVEL DAILY STAFF
(Portland, Oregon) – San Diego’s tourism industry is opening its arms wide again – but with social distancing in mind. After California governor Gavin Newsom announced that leisure travel in California could resume on June 12, the So Cal community has readied itself for visitors and has announced it is opened back up. (Photo courtesy San Diego Travel Authority)
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 & CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA). “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.”
What’s open? Most aspects of fun and repose are back in action in the California city, such as oceanfront resorts, hotels, parks, outdoor attractions and many wineries and restaurants. Most of have some kinds of limitations or restrictions. Indoor attractions are a different story for now, but they’re coming.
The list of what’s open:
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 diverse 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 are in place along with social distancing.
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.
The SDTA said the town is going to great lengths to keep visitors safe, but it also needs a pledge from visitors to practice safe habits: 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.
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