COVID-19 Updates and Resources from the RTA
Last updated March 24, 2020, 1:10pm PST
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.
On March 23, Governor Jay Inslee issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation that takes effect immediately and will remain in place for a minimum of two weeks.
This proclamation will:
- Require every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity
- Ban all public and private gatherings for social, spiritual, and recreational purposes
- Close all businesses except essential businesses
The proclamation states that it is still safe for people to go outside as long as they remain at least six feet from each other. The governor said that people can still participate in activities such as bike rides, gardening, and dog walking — as long as they follow social distancing rules.
Grocery stores, doctor’s offices, and other essential businesses will remain open. Additionally, many tourism businesses such as hotels, rental car companies, restaurant take-out, and many transportation operations are deemed essential. Learn more about essential businesses according to this order.
All non-essential businesses must close by the evening of March 25. Many businesses can and should continue to telework, according Governor Inslee.
Industries that can argue they are essential can request a special designation as an essential business. These essential businesses must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet. To clarify or certify status, or to petition to be added to this list, please visit https://mil.wa.gov to access Washington State Business Re-Entry Registration (BRE) information.
Read more about the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation.
Governor Inslee has announced a temporary closure of all bars, restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities in Washington state. All gatherings will be prohibited.
• Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.
• Retail outlets may remain open with reduced occupancy.
• Restaurants may continue take-out, drive-through and delivery services.
To read more on the governor’s announcement, click here.
Public Health – Seattle and King County has also ordered the closure of restaurants, bars, clubs, dance halls, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues until March 31, 2020.
Temporary Business Closures
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport - Temporarily Closed - Beginning 04/01
- Embassy Suites Seattle-Tacoma International Airport - Temporarily Closed 03/30 - 04/30
- 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
- All public parks are closed until further notice.
- For all other businesses, please check individual websites for closures or reduced hours
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