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 to your business please see our Partner Coronavirus Resource page.
Inslee Announces Five Regions to Progress to Phase 2
Updated Feb. 11, 2021
Gov. Jay Inslee announced today five new regions have met the metric requirements to progress to Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington reopening plan, starting this weekend. The West and Puget Sound regions have maintained their metric requirements to stay in Phase 2.
The new regions progressing to Phase 2 are:
- North (Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island)
- North Central (Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Grant)
- Northwest (Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason)
- East (Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams, Asotin, Whitman, Garfield)
- Southwest (Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Skamania, Clark, Klickitat)
The only region not moving to Phase 2 is the South Central region – which includes Ellensburg, Yakima, the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla.
Additionally, the governor announced Thursday evening that the five regions progressing will be able to do so starting Sunday, Feb. 14. The holiday weekend provides a large portion of a restaurant's yearly revenue, and by moving up the region's reopening date will allow dining establishments to benefit.
"I know this creates more options for restaurants to make Valentine's Day special for couples who hoped they could have a night out," Inslee said. "I am confident people, young and old, will celebrate safely. And if it's a first date that doesn't go well, remind them to stay six feet away from you."
Read the full Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery plan here.
Safe Start Washington – Phased Reopening County-by-County
- Governor Jay Inslee
Updated August 21, 2020
Gov. Jay Inslee today announced and updated guidance as part of Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan.
“We have worked with stakeholders for weeks and sometimes months to arrive at these guidelines. We continue to balance the need for activities that contribute to physical, mental, and emotional well-being with the steps needed to control the virus. Our ability to reopen depends on every Washingtonian doing their part to ensure fewer, shorter and safer interactions.” said Inslee.
These guidelines would allow museums in Phase 2 counties to operate as long as they meet certain requirements. Museums in Phase 3 counties would be required to lower occupancy.
Read the full guidance here.
These guidelines would allow for bowling league play in Phases 2 and 3, as long as facilities meet certain requirements.
Read the full guidance here.
This guidance would allow for agritourism such as U-pick farms and tree farms to operate in Phase 2 counties.
Read the full guidance here.
Read the attached memo here.
Updates to the outdoor recreation guidance clarify restrictions to non-spectator motor-sports in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan. These changes go into effect on August 24.
Read the full updated guidance here.
Find a full list of current reopening guidance here
What activities are allowed under a modified Phase 2 application:
Pending a business' ability to follow the State's public health guidance (linked below), the following businesses and activities are now permitted in King County:
|Activity area||Limits and requirements|
|Outdoor recreation||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance, part one, two and three.|
|Fitness||All outdoor activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance, which limits the occupants to no more than five people outside of a household (excluding the instructor). Indoor fitness studios may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance but is limited to one on one activities only.|
|Social gatherings||Only allowed outdoors with five or fewer people outside the household.|
|Additional construction||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance.|
|Manufacturing operations||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance.|
|Real estate** (residential and commercial)||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance with the exception that at no time may an office's occupancy be higher than 25% and indoor services are limited to 30 minutes.|
|In-home/domestic services||As outlined in Phase 2 guidance which has not yet been released by the State.|
|In-store retail**||All non-essential retail activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance with the exception that at no time may an establishment's occupancy be higher than 15% and indoor services are limited to 30 minutes.|
|Personal services||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance with the exception that at no time may the number of customers be more than 25% the number capable of being served at any one time, or 1 person if it is a single bed/chair studio.|
|Professional services**||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance with the exception that at no time may an establishment's occupancy be higher than 25% and indoor services are limited to 30 minutes.|
|Photography||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance.|
|Pet grooming||All activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance with the exception that at no time may an establishment's occupancy be higher than 25%.|
|Restaurants||All outdoor dining activities may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance at 50% outdoor capacity with all tables and chairs maintaining 6 feet of distance. Additional or new outdoor seating would be allowed subject to maintaining 6 feet of distance between tables and chairs, as well as receiving a city permit as is typically needed. All indoor dining services may operate subject to Phase 2 guidance with the exception that at no time may the number of customers be more than 25% of the tables provided such tables and chairs are more than 6 feet away from each other.|
Learn more: www.kingcounty.gov/Safe-Start
Mask/Face Covering Required
Effective June 26, a statewide order requires individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when you can't stay 6 feet apart from others. Learn more.
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.
Canada's Continued Suspension of Cruise
February 4, 2021 The Canadian government has continued the suspension of cruise vessels in their waters. This impacts our homeported cruises which would stop at a Canadian port, per the Passenger Vessel Services Act, on their Alaska itineraries.
There remains a possibility of a limited cruise season in Seattle this year, nonetheless, the health and safety of our community comes first, and we await further guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC). The Port of Seattle will continue working closely with federal and local officials and industry partners to implement the latest health and safety requirements to support a safe return of cruise. When it is safe to cruise Seattle will be ready.
COVID-19 travel protocols continue to evolve. These are some of the newest COVID-19 testing requirements to be aware of as you plan your trip.
New COVID-19 Protocols for International Travel
COVID-19 international travel protocols continue to evolve. These are some of the newest COVID-19 testing requirements to be aware of as you plan your trip. Testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19.
- A negative COVID-19 test is required for all international passengers coming into the U.S. with written documentation of a laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) provided to the airline. This is combined with the CDC recommendation to get tested again 3-5 days after arrival and stay home for seven days post-travel. Effective as of Jan. 26, the CDC’s protocols are in place during international arrivals and passport control process at SEA as well as the implementation of facial recognition.
- A presidential proclamation expands travel restrictions for South Africa, Brazil, Britain and 27 European countries. Due to go into effect on Jan. 30, the proclamation applies to noncitizens attempting to come to the U.S. from any of those countries for 14-days prior to travel.
- All travelers headed to the Netherlands must show a negative rapid test within four hours of departure. This is in addition to the already mandatory negative PCR test, which must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Pre-flight testing is available for those flying to Amsterdam from SEA through Discovery Health MD at the South Satellite SkyClub Lounge near Gate S10 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or four hours before departure to the Netherlands.
Guidance for Travelers
- Learn about other COVID-19 testing and travel requirements.
- Need a COVID-19 test to travel? Find local COVID-19 testing options at SEA Airport.
- Understand the use of facial recognition at SEA Airport.
- Read about international travel and FlyHealthy@SEA.
- The U.S. Department of State updates travel advisories
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel
- CDC Information for Travelers
- 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
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
Complete List of Re-opened Businesses in Seattle Southside
- We've published a list of all the hotels, restaurants, and attractions re-opening during Phase 2 in our region.
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 Hotel Closures
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport - 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.