Safer at home

San Diego County and California public health officials have issued orders to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease, or COVID-19. The County order is in effect until further notice. 

Safe Reopening

What's open, what's not, guidance for businesses and organizations. 

What the orders mean

  • Everyone needs to stay home except to take care of essential needs, go to an essential job, or go out for exercise. 
  • Practice social distancing. Keep at least six feet away from other people unless they’re household members. Avoid gatherings of any size.
  • You need to have a face covering when leaving home and wear it when you're within six feet of anyone not a household member, or when entering a business. More details about face coverings
  • It is strongly recommended you stay home, unless you need medical care, if:
    • You are over 65 years old
    • Have a chronic underlying health condition
    • Have a compromised immune system
    • Have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19

Going outdoors

You may go outside for exercise if you can keep six feet away from people who are not members of your household. Avoid groups and crowded outdoor spaces.


The County has allowed beaches to open with certain limitations, but cities will decide whether to open their beaches. Check before visiting.

You can sit and lie down with members of your household. You can walk or run on the beach. If you're within six feet of others not in your household, wear a face covering. You can swim, surf, paddleboard, kayak, snorkel. Activities like football or volleyball are not allowed. You can take dogs where beaches allow them.

Beach parking lots and piers need to remain closed.


At parks, the County will allow:

  • Parking lots to open.
  • Park visitors to sit, lie down, picnic if they practice social distancing.
  • Use of basketball or tennis courts, if played by members of a household or others who can maintain social distance.

Cities or park managers may have their own restrictions. Check before visiting. 

Park managers need to create and post a plan for how they will provide for social distancing.

Social distancing and safety templates for Parks & Beaches   


Camping is allowed. Each occupied campsite can’t be occupied on either side. Playgrounds or other common amenities are still closed. Operators of individual campgrounds will decide when they reopen. Check before visiting.


Recreational boating on the ocean, bays and lakes is allowed for members of a household. The managers of any of those locations may have their own restrictions.


Golf course operators need to create and post a plan for how they will provide for social distancing.

Social distancing and safety templates for Golf Courses.

Golf carts are allowed. One-on-one instruction done with social distancing is allowed. 

Recreational equipment rentals

Businesses that rent recreational equipment, such as bicycles, surfboards, boats, kayaks and other watercraft can reopen if they prepare a Safe Reopening Plan. If any equipment can be used by multiple people, they have to be members of the same household. All equipment needs to be sanitized with a disinfectant effective against the coronavirus after each use.

Schools and childcare

All public and private schools, colleges and universities are closed. Parents of minor children must take steps to keep them at home.

Childcare facilities are still open. Daycare centers that remain open should employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements. Babysitters may also come to the house to care for minors of working parents.

As much as possible, childcare facilities need to operate in the following way:

  • Limit groups of children to no more than 12.
  • Children must stay in the same group and must not move from one group to another.
  • The providers/teachers must stay with one group of children and not mix among groups.
  • If there is more than one group at a facility, they need to be in separate rooms.
  • Providers need to establish health check and temperature screenings. Children or employees with temperatures 100 degrees or more are not allowed in the facility.


Health care and helping relatives

In most situations, visiting someone in a hospital or long-term care facility is no longer allowed. Exceptions may be made for family or friends to visit a patient in an end-of-life situation or to allow parents or guardians to visit a child who is a patient, for example.

If you are feeling sick with fever or cough or other symptoms, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, an urgent care center or 2-1-1. 

If you need to go to the hospital, call ahead so they can prepare for your arrival. If you need to call 911, tell the 911 operator the exact symptoms you are experiencing so the emergency medical providers can prepare to treat you safely.

Helping others in their home

You can care for elderly or disabled parents or friends if you are not feeling sick. Be sure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least six feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue, throwing the tissue away, and then washing your hands. If you have early signs of a cold, please stay away from your older loved ones.


Additional health orders

California public health order (PDF)
List of essential critical infrastructure workers (PDF)
Isolation of people with or likely to have COVID-19 (PDF)
Quarantine of people exposed to COVID-19 (PDF)
San Diego County health orders for cruise ships (PDFs)  Disembarkation | Docking     
Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol | Spanish (PDF)  No longer required. Essential businesses now reopening should use Safe Reopening Plan.

Why are we doing this?

The goal is to slow the spread of the virus and to make sure the healthcare system is able to care for all patients.

Since we don’t yet have a vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat COVID-19, preventing the spread of the virus to new people is critical. In addition to social distancing, other protective measures everyone must take include:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Clean highly used household surfaces often
  • Wear a face covering when within six feet of people not in your household


Stay Home, Stop the Spread and Save Lives

Visit Live Well @ Home for tips and strategies to stay healthy in both mind and body while staying at home.

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 in San Diego.