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Mandatory Directive on Travel

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 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​*Please confirm compliance with the State Order. Where there is a difference between the local County Order and the State Order, the more restrictive order must be followed. The State also has specific guidance for certain activities that must be followed in addition to this mandatory directive.*

Information on the State’s Order and State guidance is available at covid19.ca.gov.

Issued: November 28, 2020
Revised and Effective: January 25, 2021​
Effective Upon Release

In light of significant increases in COVID-19 cases and associated hospitalizations across the United States, the State of California, and within Santa Clara County, this Mandatory Directive on Travel is in effect until it is rescinded or modified.


This Directive establishes the County Health Officer’s rules for quarantine after travel. The risk of COVID-19 transmission increases as people travel in and out of Santa Clara County and have contact with persons from other households and other communities, especially through travel to regions with significant COVID-19 transmission. To reduce this risk, the County Health Officer has established this mandatory directive related to travel. This Directive applies to all travel into Santa Clara County, whether by residents or non-residents.

This Directive is mandatory, and failure to follow it is a violation of the Health Officer's Order issued on October 5, 2020 ("Order").

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Travel Is Discouraged

  1. The County Health Officer discourages travel, especially for non-essential purposes.
    1. Because travel involves mixing between regions and households, and because so many areas of the State and United States are also currently experiencing significant surges in COVID-19 cases, travel is discouraged and should be minimized.
    2. In particular, non-essential travel (i.e., travel for leisure or for non-essential business) is strongly discouraged and should be postponed until after the current surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations subsides.


    Mandatory Quarantine after Long-Distance Travel into Santa Clara County

  2. Quarantine Requirements
    1. Except as otherwise provided in this Directive, all persons traveling into Santa Clara County, whether by air, car, train, or any other means, directly or indirectly from a point of origin greater than 150 miles from the county’s borders must quarantine for at least 10 days after arrival. 

    2. For the purposes of this Directive, “quarantine” means staying at home or another place of temporary shelter without contact with any persons other than members of one’s own immediate traveling party or one’s household.

    3. Information, resources, and guidance on quarantine, including recommendations on when to get tested and what to do in the case of a positive test result are available at sccstayhome.org.

  3. Exemptions from Mandatory Quarantine.
    1. Licensed healthcare professionals, as defined by the Order, and all persons working at acute care hospitals, do not need to quarantine following arrival.
    2. Persons traveling solely for the purpose of performing an essential governmental function, as defined by the governmental entity responsible for that functiondo not need to quarantine following that travel.
    3. The following persons are required to quarantine, but may leave their home or place of quarantine solely for the activities specified in this section:
      1. Persons who perform essential governmental functions, as defined by the governmental entity responsible for those functions, whose purpose for travel does not fall within section 3(b), but only to the extent that the governmental entity determines that it would otherwise lack sufficient staffing to fulfill that essential function.
      2. Persons traveling solely for the purpose of performing essential critical infrastructure work, as defined by the State Public Health Officer, but only to the extent that the employer determines that it would otherwise lack sufficient staffing to perform such work.
      3. Persons traveling solely for the purpose of work or participation in collegiate or professional athletic activities, provided they are in compliance with all applicable directives.​
    4. Persons traveling to Santa Clara County to obtain services from a Healthcare Facility, as defined in the Order, are required to quarantine upon arrival, but may leave their household or place of quarantine to obtain those services.
    5. Persons who are otherwise required to quarantine pursuant to this Directive may leave their household or place of quarantine to the extent necessary to comply with a court order or make an appearance in a court of law or administrative proceeding.

  4. Notification Requirement for Transit Facilities

  5. Notification Requirements
    1. All transit facilities, including but not limited to airports, train stations, bus stations, and other facilities where persons may be regularly traveling into Santa Clara County must ensure a copy of this Directive is provided to each passenger upon arrival from a point of origin more than 150 miles from the County borders.
    2. All transit facilities must prominently post notices in such a manner that all persons transiting through such facilities will become aware of the requirements of this Directive. Notices are available to print and post here.


Stay Informed

For answers to frequently asked questions about capacity limitations and other topics, please see the FAQ page. Please note that this Directive may be updated. For up-to-date information on the Health Officer Order, visit the County Public Health Department's website at www.sccgov.org/coronavirus​. ​​​​​​​​​

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Last updated: 1/25/2021 2:17 PM