• Santa Maria Valley Visitor Bureau & Tourism Marketing District statement on COVID-19

    Dear Industry Partners,
    You have seen many communications about the novel coronavirus and how it is affecting everyone, including the travel industry.
    The safety and well-being of our visitors, industry partners and staff are the highest priority for us. As such, we want to ensure everyone that we are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) in California and elsewhere, following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local government agencies to stay on top of this evolving situation.
    Regarding travel guidance:
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued specific guidance recommending against gatherings of more than 250 people, more than 10 at-risk people, or gatherings of any size if social distancing (6 feet or more) is not possible. The recommendations are in place through March.
    While the governor’s guidance aims to prevent the spread of coronavirus among groups in indoor gathering spaces, travel in general — including to any of California’s numerous parks and other outdoor spaces — is unrestricted.
    The CDC has issued detailed guidance for elderly travelers or those with underlying health conditions, regarding cruise ships and long-haul overseas travel.
    Some states in the U.S., including California, and a handful of California counties, have issued state of emergency declarations. There are no travel implications tied to the declarations.
    As precautions, we and Visit California urge travelers to follow public health authorities’ recommendations.
    Visitors and residents should follow the same common-sense precautions – frequent hand washing, avoidance of people who are sick, etc. – that they would with the traditional flu. Older adults and people with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems should follow detailed CDPH (California Department of Public Health) recommendations to protect themselves.
    Visit California encourages tourism businesses to follow recommendations from Cal/OSHA and the CDC about the workplace and employees, including guidance on maintaining flexible sick leave policies, encouraging sick workers to stay home and implementing specific health checks for work-related travel.
    Key tourism segments – transportation, accommodations and restaurants – have instituted enhanced disinfection protocols.
    We are committed to ensuring our visitors and locals are as safe as possible. Be well and stay healthy. We appreciate your support.
    Jennifer Harrison, Director
    Santa Maria Valley Visitors Bureau & Tourism Marketing District
    Need resources about COVID-19 for your business?   CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Resources