The governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued travel advisories Friday urging people entering their states or returning from outside the states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus, California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said.
The advisories urge people to avoid non-essential out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encourage residents to stay local, a statement said.
“California just surpassed a sobering threshold — one million COVID-19 cases — with no signs of the virus slowing down,” Newsom wrote. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians."
Ray W. Watson, owner of Uniglobe Golden Empire Travel in Bakersfield, said the advisory would inevitably impact peoples’ plans as the year draws to a close.
“It’s an obvious yes. Most all of us want to be good citizens and don’t want to be on the edge,” he said. “If anyone was thinking of canceling their trips, this could be the thing that gets them to say ‘No thanks. I think we’ll stay, do something over Zoom.’”
Ron Biglin, owner of Kern Travel, said clients were already traveling significantly less this year. Biglin said most customers are in “wait-and-see mode” and are already booking trips for 2021 and 2022.
“People want to travel but only when they’re comfortable that it’s safe,” he said.
Government officials in the three states urged that the time is now to take action with another COVID-19 surge expected.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a social media video Thursday, “If we do not act immediately we will soon reach a breaking point.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sounded a similar warning.
“We have to rethink spending time with people from outside our households right now, including Thanksgiving and the December holidays,” he wrote on social media. “This is temporary. We will get back to normal. But right now, it is just too dangerous to gather.”
The trend could very well be a precursor locally as well, with the holidays fast approaching.
Bakersfield resident Todd Hansen said the Cal State Bakersfield volleyball team would come over during Thanksgiving to join him, his wife, and daughter Emily, who plays on the team.
Not this year, though. Hansen said all the players have gone home because the team isn't currently playing and they don't plan to return soon, making it a much smaller gathering.
“They’d stay for two days. They’d eat so much, lay on the couch and start watching football, then fall asleep," Hansen said. "But this year that’s out the door.”
The Associated Press and The Californian contributed to this report.