Non-Essential Travelers Arriving in Southern California Now Subject to Mandatory Quarantines

Nationwide COVID-19 hotspot: that’s the unenviable title currently held by the County of Los Angeles. In response, L.A. is among several other Southern California counties discouraging non-essential travel by imposing a mandatory quarantine order upon certain travelers.

What does this mean?

Effective immediately, most anyone traveling (via planes, trains, automobiles and otherwise) from outside Southern California to L.A., Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, or Ventura Counties must quarantine themselves for no less than 10 days after arrival. Translation: these people (both Southern California residents and tourists) need to stay isolated at home (or wherever else possible) for the prescribed time period and avoid any local excursions, even for groceries or other necessities, which they should have delivered.


Note that not everyone is subject to the quarantine mandate. Essential travel for work and study, economic services and supply chain, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security reasons is unrestricted. Likewise, licensed healthcare professionals, those working for essential government or infrastructure purposes, people transiting through L.A. County and not staying overnight, members of professional or collegiate sports teams, and film or media production personnel operating within L.A. are exempt from the quarantine order.

Expiration Date

In terms of timing, the directive will last indefinitely—L.A. County has yet to provide a target date for its expiration.

What Employers Should Do

It would be prudent for employers in Southern California to include reference to non-essential travel as part of their onsite health screening protocols, especially in light of all those who may have taken holiday trips. In addition, employees that have recently returned home from outside Southern California and are therefore quarantining should be given the opportunity to work remotely and have any necessary materials from their offices delivered to them.

As always, the attorneys at Michelman & Robinson, LLP are here to answer any of your COVID-19-related questions.

This blog post is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.