Mono County Health Clarifies State’s Lodging Restrictions Under So. Calif. Region Stay-At-Home Order

Stay-At-Home Order from state shuts down most of lodging for visitors to area with few selected exceptions.

Mono County is advising that all hotel, motel, and short-term rental reservations must be canceled for the duration of the Southern California Region Stay-At-Home Order issued by the CA Dept. of Public Health issued on December 5, which took effect at 11:59pm 0n Sunday, December 6, 2020. It will be in effect for a minimum of three weeks.

The Order prohibits short-term lodging for recreational or leisure purposes unless for lodging is for “essential purposes” such as pandemic response and in support of critical infrastructure. Stranded travelers, people who have been displaced and cannot return to their homes, people who need to isolate or quarantine, or to protect the homeless population, are excepted from the Order.

The prohibition is in effect for vacation rentals such as Airbnb’s or VRBO’s, timeshares, private residences, hotels, motels, condominiums, campgrounds, and RV parks as well. It comes at a grim time for the local lodging industry which is already on the ropes and reeling from months of restrictions and costs related to meeting the health precautions needed to open even on a limited basis.

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9 months ago

The foregoing summarizes exemptions, but the summary is not necessarily complete. Lodging associated with non-exempt travel is included in the prohibition, but non-exempt travel is not all-encompassing. Travel associated with pursuit of relocating a primary residence would not be non-essential. So if someone is moving from San Bernardino County to Carson City to live, and is traveling for a business purpose to complete a purchase inspection or to close an escrow, and must spend one night along the way, in Bishop, perhaps, that should be deemed an essential business trip. That overnight stop as part of it should also be exempted from these rules. But if that traveler has tennis rackets in the car or fishing poles, it might prove hard to make out the trip being “essential travel.” Hopefully lodging facility managers will study all of these rule sand educate their front desk staffs.