North Lake Tahoe COVID-19 Update

December 4, 2020

Know Before You Go Winter Safe Travel Guide
Covid-19 FAQ’s
Preparing for the 20/21 Winter Ski Season
Takeout Tahoe
Mask Up Tahoe
Wildfire Resources

Both California and Nevada continue to move through phases of a gradual and thoughtful reopening process. However, both states have recently seen a rise in cases prompting Governors Newsom (CA) and Sisolak (NV) to implemented stricter regulations in an effort slow the spread of COVID-19 and get the current surges under control.  

Both Governors are urging people to stay home when possible, to follow guidelines, wear masks, limit mixing, practice physical distancing, and to wash hand frequently.

California Side of North Lake Tahoe
On Thursday, Dec. 3, Governor Gavin Newsom outlined a new set of restrictions based on the regional strains on critical care services as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The regional Stay Home order will be imposed if 85% of intensive care unit beds are filled. Once a region’s ICU bed capacity falls below 15% the shutdown rules will take effect within 24 hours.

State officials divided California’s counties into five regions for the purpose of determining intensive care unit capacity and potential shutdowns of local services. Placer County is within the greater Sacramento region and at this time, the region has not reached the Stay Home threshold.

State officials said once a region enters the temporary shutdown, the reopening of closed services and activities will be based on four-week projections of a region’s ICU capacity.

Unlike the shutdown Newsom issued in the spring, most outdoor activities, including ski resorts and recreation, are not affected. Retailers will be able to remain open at 20% capacity and restaurants are limited to outdoor dining and takeout only. Personal care services, including hair and nail salons, playgrounds and wineries will be required to close. The order prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing.

If/when the order is issued, it will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks and, after that period, it will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3-week period. Learn more.

Currently, the following business sectors must operate with the following modifications and/or limitations.

  • Hotels & Lodging – open with modifications
  • Restaurants – outdoor dining only; takeout allowed
  • Breweries, Brewpubs and Distilleries that serve food – outdoor dining only, takeout allowed
  • Wineries and Tasting Rooms – outdoor only
  • Retail – max 25% capacity indoors
  • Malls – max 25% capacity indoors
  • Movie Theaters – outdoor only
  • Museums – outdoor only
  • Gyms & Fitness Centers – outdoor only
  • Personal Care Services – indoor operations allowed with modifications
  • Places of Worship – outdoor only
  • Family Entertainment Centers – outdoor only

Bars that do not serve sit down meals, are required to be temporarily closed whether indoors or outdoors.  

California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions.  Read the full announcement HERE.

Find additional guidance on the state’s website HERE. These restrictions will remain in place until the state takes further action.

Nevada Side of North Lake Tahoe
On November 22nd, Governor Sisolak announced increased restrictions throughout the state of Nevada in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.  The measures go into effect on Tuesday November 24th and will last for the next three weeks and will then be re-evaluated. Find information on the full directive HERE

Under the new directive, the following business sectors must operate with the following modifications and/or limitations.

  • Restaurants – max 25% capacity indoors; takeout allowed
    • Including Bars, Wineries, Pubs and Breweries that serve food
    • Reservations are required at all dining facilities, no walk up seating
  • Retail – max 50% capacity indoors
  • Casinos – max 25% capacity indoors
  • Indoor Venues (Galleries, Movie Theaters, Bowling Alleys & Arcades) – max 25% capacity indoors
  • Outdoor Venues (Galleries, Zoos, Mini Golf, Amusement Parks, Climbing Walls)
  • Cannabis Dispensaries – max 50% capacity indoors
  • Gyms & Fitness Centers – max 25% capacity indoors
  • Personal Care Services (nail and hair salons, tattoo parlors) – max 25% capacity indoors
  • Massage Therapy Studios – max 25% capacity indoors

There is also a statewide mandate that limits restaurants to limiting party size to 4 people.   

The North Lake Tahoe business community looks forward to welcoming guests to the region to experience the majestic Tahoe winters.  Each business sector — restaurants, lodging properties, retailers and activity providers — are continually preparing to be open, utilizing state, county and industry guidance to ensure the health and safety of residents and guests. They continue to demonstrate resilience and we are confident in their ability to safely welcome you back.

Next time you arrive in North Lake Tahoe, you’ll still recognize the snow-capped mountains and the crystal blue shorelines, but there will also be many differences to be aware of.  So, to prepare you for the most seamless experience, we’ve put together a Know Before You Go Guide including all the tips and resources you’ll need.  

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 for additional regional resources and check out the links below.  

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