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New COVID-19 travel restrictions in California, Washington, Oregon may impact Idaho travelers

Governors of California, Washington and Oregon unveiled new COVID-19 travel restrictions on Friday.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little rolled Idaho back to Stage 2 on Friday while neighboring West Coast states announced stricter guidelines and travel restrictions amid surging COVID-19 cases across the U.S. 

In Idaho, groups of more than ten people are now prohibited under Stage 2, with some exceptions. 

A mask mandate was not issued and Idaho businesses will remain open under Stage 2. 

Little did not discuss travel restrictions during Friday's press conference, while neighboring west coast states issued new travel restrictions discouraging travel and requiring a 14-day quarantine when returning from out-of-state to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Oregon also started a two-week freeze, limiting all restaurants to take-out only among other restrictions.

New restrictions were also announced Saturday in Washington, including closing indoor service for restaurants and bars. 

In Idaho, residents are encouraged to be mindful of when and where they are traveling, as well as to take appropriate precautions when traveling, according to the state COVID-19 guidelines.  

If you are entering Idaho from an area with a high infection rate or from another country, a 14-day quarantine is encouraged but is not required, according to Central District Health.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee all issued travel advisories on Friday as COVID-19 cases within those states continue to rise. 

In all three states, non-essential out of state travel will be discouraged. Additionally, a 14-day self-quarantine after returning from out-of-state will be strongly encouraged.

In addition to urging individuals arriving from other states or countries to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, the states’ travel advisories recommend individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household. The advisories define essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.  

Additionally, Oregon Gov. Brown announced a two-week freeze statewide beginning Nov. 18. The freeze will limit restaurants to take-out only and recreational facilities, both indoor and outdoor, will be closed.

The order will stay in effect in Oregon until Dec. 2, but some hotspot areas throughout the state may remain in a freeze for longer.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” said California Gov. Newsom. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”  

“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” said Oregon Gov. Brown. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”

“COVID cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks. This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” said Washington Gov. Inslee. “Limiting and reducing travel is one way to reduce the further spread of the disease. I am happy to partner with California and Oregon in this effort to help protect lives up and down the West Coast.”

PLAN: Traveling for Thanksgiving? COVID-19 risk map can help you plan

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