North Lake Tahoe COVID-19 Update
March 12, 2021
The character of North Lake Tahoe is enhanced by the fact that the region spans both California and Nevada. However, in a time like this, that lends to some extra challenges for our region. Both states (and a number of counties) are diligently working through this pandemic. There are differing requirements and restrictions between the two states that visitors should be aware of.
California and Nevada continue to move in and out of phases of a gradual and thoughtful reopening process. Cases are trending in a positive direction however both states are monitoring the situation closely and have restrictions and operational modifications in place.
Both Governors are urging people to follow guidelines, wear masks, limit mixing, practice physical distancing, and to wash hand frequently.
California Side of North Lake Tahoe
On Friday, March 12, the State announced that Placer County will be moving into the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy Red Tier, further easing restrictions in the county, on Sunday March 14.
The State of California Department of Public Health released Outdoor Recreation guidance on Dec. 1 that includes ski operators. Find that guidance HERE. Key Takeaways:
- California ski resorts can remain open
- General California state guidance indicates that travel of 2-3 hours to engage in outdoor recreation is well within the state guidelines.
- The new California Outdoor Recreation guidance is implemented for the season, barring any changes
- Despite the Stay Home Order, resorts can continue to operate per the Governor’s office
- Ski California resorts are already implementing this guidance
Within the Red Tier, the following business sectors can operate with the following modifications and/or limitations.
- Ski Resorts & Outdoor Recreation Facilities – open
- Food & Beverage facilities will align with capacity levels allowed for restaurants
- Lodging – open with modifications
- Restaurants – outdoor and indoor dining with capacity limits
- Max. 25% capacity indoors or 100 people, whichever is less
- Takeout allowed
- Includes Breweries, Brewpubs and Distilleries that serve food
- Wineries and Tasting Rooms – outdoor only
- Bars – outdoors only with modification
- Reservations required
- 90-minute time limit
- Seating/tables only
- Limited hours – service for onsite consumption only and must close by 8pm
- Retail – max. 50% capacity indoors
- Indoor Malls – max. 25% capacity indoors
- Movie Theaters – max. 25% capacity indoors
- Museums – max. 25% capacity indoors
- Gyms & Fitness Centers – max. 10% capacity indoors
- Personal Care Services – indoor with modifications
- Outdoor Playgrounds – open
“We are excited to share the news that Placer County is moving into the Red Tier. The North Lake Tahoe business community remains committed to implementing safe practices while adhering to operational modifications. Those considering travel to the Sierra region should be aware that even though Tahoe area ski resorts offer organized outdoor recreation and remain open with new procedures and protocols in place, everyone needs to stay vigilant, maintain physical distancing, and wear masks. We encourage anyone planning to travel to Tahoe to review current policies and procedures at gotahoenorth.com/knowbeforeyougo and state guidance at covid19.ca.gov and nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.”
— Jeffrey Hentz, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association CEO
Nevada Side of North Lake Tahoe
On February 10th, Governor Sisolak announced a “safe reopening” plan for the state of Nevada. The plan began on February 15th and goes through May 1st. On March 15th second-round capacity limits will be lifted at various levels based on the risk level of the activity or business-type. Find information on the full directive HERE.
Public gatherings and events are now able to increase to 250 individuals, or 50% of fire code capacity, whichever is less, with strict social distancing. Residential gatherings must be capped at no more than 10 individuals indoors and no more than 25 individual outdoors. Current guidance on safe gatherings can be found HERE.
Under the new directive, the following business sectors can operate with the following modifications and/or limitations.
- Lodging – open for leisure travel with safety modifications in place
- Ski Resorts & Outdoor Recreation Facilities – open with safety modifications in place
- Restaurants – max 50% capacity indoors; takeout allowed
- Including Bars, Wineries, Pubs and Breweries
- Reservations are not required
- Max party size is 6 people
- Retail – max 50% capacity indoors
- Casinos – max 50% capacity indoors
- Arcades, Bowling Alleys, Mini-Golf, Pool Halls, Amusement & Theme Parks and similar activities – max 50% capacity
- Libraries, Museums, Art Galleries, Aquariums & Zoos – max 50% capacity
- Cannabis Dispensaries – max 50% capacity indoors
- Gyms & Fitness Centers – max 50% capacity indoors
- Personal Care Services (nail and hair salons, tattoo parlors) – may operate under strict social distancing requirements and protocols established by existing Directives and/or guidance issued by the applicable regulatory body
- Massage Therapy Studios – may operate under strict social distancing requirements and protocols established by existing Directives and/or guidance issued by the applicable regulatory body
“Those considering travel to North Lake Tahoe need to plan ahead and be aware of current policies and procedures that Tahoe area businesses must adhere to and how they may differ state to state. Nevada lodging properties, casinos and restaurants remain open at this time, in conjunction with the California lodging properties and restaurants. The most important thing for people to remember is to be kind, mask up, wash your hands, and maintain 6-feet or more of physical distance. We implore personal responsibility to help mitigate the spread. Know Before You Go resources, safe travel tips and ways to support local businesses are available on the GoTahoeNorth.com website.”
— Andy Chapman, Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau president and CEO
North Lake Tahoe ski resorts, lodging properties, restaurants and winter recreation sites are gearing up for winter, modifying their operations and expanding health safeguards to guarantee a safe and enjoyable winter season in North Lake Tahoe. While some ski resorts may differ slightly in their operations, social distancing, mask requirements and capacity limits are implemented across all North Tahoe ski resorts to protect public health. North Lake Tahoe is urging guests to visit the websites of individual ski resorts and lodging properties for the most up-to-date information, as well as reviewing destination guidelines at www.gotahoenorth.com/knowbeforeyougo. Different requirements may exist as six counties, two states and the federal government all govern the Tahoe-Truckee region. Destination officials are urging travelers to stay adaptable and adventurous throughout the winter season.
“Know Before You Go” has become the mantra and best practice adopted by businesses large and small in North Lake Tahoe. As the region responds to ever-changing protocols required by local, state and federal health officials, guests are encouraged to review the region’s Know Before You Go guide and check directly with resorts, businesses and lodging properties before visiting to understand current procedures as they are subject to change. Many resorts and outdoor activity providers are requiring advance reservations or tickets to manage visitation levels that allow for physical distancing and are not offering the ability to purchase on-site.
And in this new landscape of life, being a responsible traveler is now, more than ever, a must. To us, a responsible traveler is aware of the effects that travel has on destinations and cultures – both positive and negative. So, before embarking on any adventures, we ask you to join us in preparing yourself and embrace the mindset of responsible travel. Not only do we need to think about our footprint when traveling, but we now also need to put safety and compassion at the forefront. Check with individual states, counties, and businesses for the latest information regarding openings and modifications. Below are some tips we hope you’ll consider. Small changes can make a world of difference.
Know Before You Go
- Be well informed of potential risks and prepare yourself
- Read regional resources to find out state and county specific restrictions
- Check in with businesses in advance to learn about current modifications and/or closures
- Consider visiting mid-week when there are less people in the region.
- Know that the 20/21 ski season will look different. Most regional resorts will not be selling day-of walk up lift tickets – tickets will need to be purchased in advance, online. Some resorts are implementing a reservation system. This season guests will need to plan in advance.
Accept Personal Responsibility
- Don’t travel if you’re sick
- Fully weigh the implications of being away from home right now
Be a Responsible Traveler
- Keep 6’ of physical distance
- Wear a mask or face covering when in public – it’s required in CA and NV
- Have patience as businesses navigate this uncharted territory
- Respect businesses’ requests
- Leave no trace
Visit our friends at TakeCareTahoe.org for additional regional resources and check out the links below.
- State of California Information
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Resilience Roadmap https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/
- Placer County Reopening Requirements: https://www.placer.ca.gov/6582/Business-Checklists
- California State Parks: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30350
- State of Nevada Information
- Nevada Travelers & Visitors Information https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/info/travelers-visitors/
- Washoe County COVID Information: https://www.washoecounty.us/health/programs-and-services/communicable-diseases-and-epidemiology/educational_materials/COVID-19.php/
- Nevada State Parks: http://parks.nv.gov/about/public-notices
- Tahoe National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tahoe/home/?cid=fseprd725833
- Truckee Information
- Town of Truckee COVID Update Page for Travelers https://www.truckee.com/covid-19-updates/
- South Lake Tahoe Information
- Tahoe South COVID Healthy Travel Information Page https://tahoesouth.com/healthy-travel-information/
- CDC Information
- General Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Travel Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html
- Liz Bowling
- Cell: (303) 726-7104
- [email protected]