COVID-19 Updates and Resources from the RTA
The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) continues to monitor the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
As our elected leaders and public health officials aggressively work to contain infections, the RTA continues to work as an advisor to travelers and an advocate for regional businesses and the travel industry. We’ve heard from many of our partners in recent days and understand the challenges your business is facing, as well as your need to appropriately advise your customers and clients. For more information related toyour business please see our Partner Coronavirus Resource page.
Gov. Inslee announces Safe Start plans and guidance for reopening
May 4, 2020 - Governor Jay Inslee announced the state’s Safe Start plan, a four-phase approach to re-opening Washington’s economy.
The state is currently in Phase 1, which includes drive-in spiritual services with one household per vehicle, auto/RV/boat/ORV sales, retail open for curb-side pick-up orders, car washes, landscaping, and pet walking.
Businesses may only re-open when they are able to fully comply with the industry-specific requirements that will be issued no later than May 15, 2020. The Business and Worker page on coronavirus.wa.gov will be updated with guidance as it is released.
Under the governor’s plan, smaller counties can apply for a variance, which would allow them to open more businesses than allowed statewide. Safe Start allows for modifications of business closures and physical distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.
While Stay Home, Stay Healthy is being extended to the end of May, the “Safe Start” plan allows more businesses and activities to re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks — data and metrics will determine when the state can move from one phase to another. Phase 2 will not begin before June 1. Read the full Safe Start policy plan here.
New Mask/Face Covering Directive In Effect
May 18, 2020 - Dr. Jeff Duchin, Public Health – Seattle & King County health officer, along with King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued a new Public Health Directive that requires individuals to wear masks or face coverings while in public, including passengers on King County Metro services riding transit.
As masks and face coverings become the norm, King County remains committed to sharing accurate information and confronting discrimination. Wearing a mask or face covering does not mean a person is ill, and ethnicity has nothing to do with an individual’s vulnerability to this disease. We recognize that CDC-approved face coverings can result in harassment and create safety concerns for people of color. King County, Metro, and the Metro Transit Police condemn racial profiling in the strongest terms across the transit system and throughout our community, and harassment based on race is illegal and will not be tolerated.
Information on face coverings is available in multiple languages at Public Health's face coverings website.
Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers
The U.S. Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.6 trillion in economic output and supports 15.8 million American jobs, was developed in close collaboration with health and medical professionals, and with organizations throughout the broader travel industry: hotels/resorts, airports, airlines, attractions, restaurants, rental cars, meeting venues, event producers, travel advisors and others. It also builds upon and aligns with the White House and CDC guidelines for "Opening Up America Again."
We will modify the guidance as the public health issue evolves and we will continue to work with medical and health professionals, government officials and travel leaders across the industry to prioritize the health and safety of travelers and travel employees.
Complete List of Open Hotels in Seattle Southside
- We've created a comprehensive list of hotels that have remained open during the pandemic and the amenities offered by each.
Temporary Business Closures
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport - Temporarily Closed
- Embassy Suites Seattle-Tacoma International Airport - Temporarily Closed
- Four Points by Sheraton - Seattle Airport South - Temporarily Closed
- Motel 6 Seattle Airport #1332 - Temporarily Closed
- Motel 6 Seattle Sea-Tac Airport South #4690 - Temporarily Closed
- Motel 6 Seattle South #736 - Temporarily Closed
- Quality Inn Sea-Tac Airport - Temporarily Closed
- For all other businesses, please check individual websites for closures or reduced hours
Hotels Offering Free Room Nights for Frontline Medical Staff
- Many Seattle hotels and hotels near Sea-Tac Airport are participating in Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy's one million room night giveaway for frontline medical staff.
Guidance for Travelers
- The U.S. Department of State maintains a Level 4 Travel Advisory (its highest) with the message: “Do not travel to China.” On March 11, a Global Level 3 Advisory (“Reconsider Travel”) was issued for travel abroad.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel to China, Malaysia, Europe, UK and Ireland, South Korea, Iran and all Cruise Ship Travel
- CDC Information for Travelers
- CDC: What you Need to Know
- Canada announced that it would close its borders to most nonresidents. It exempted visitors from the U.S., though anyone who crosses the border from the U.S. will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
- Washington State Department of Health
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) traveler updates
- The 2020 cruise season is indefinitely suspended until the resolution of the public health emergency.
Guidance for Meeting & Event Planners
The following resources address crisis management, force majeure clauses and other relevant industry concerns:
- Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) event planning guidelines
- MPI article on force majeure clauses
- International Association of Exhibitions and Events (EEMB) webinar on February 28
- Meeting Mentor Magazine – impact on your event
- Events Industry Council