How to Travel to Santa Monica Responsibly - Visit Santa Monica
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Travel Responsibly

How to Travel to Santa Monica Responsibly

Santa Monica will always shine for you and welcome guests with open arms, and we want you to make the most of your beachside vacation. We encourage you to plan ahead, get tested, travel responsibly, set expectations and take appropriate precautions as you explore Santa Monica and beyond.

Responsible Travel in Santa Monica Right Now Means:

Know When to Mask Up

On July 17, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health updated its guidance on mask wearing to require face masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. The City asks for the public’s attention and adherence to the requirement due to the spike in cases and the prevalence of variants.

On January 5, 2022, California extended its statewide indoor mask mandate through February 15, 2022. To protect the health of Californians and visitors, keep schools open for in-person instruction, and allow California’s economy to remain open and thrive, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccine status. This requirement will be updated as CDPH continues to assess conditions on an ongoing basis.

The best tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to move forward with economic and social recovery is to get vaccinated. The free, effective, and safe vaccine is readily available in Santa Monica and throughout LA County. To receive your COVID-19 vaccine, visit

Santa Monica Health Ambassadors will be conducting business outreach to ensure mask compliance.

As of January 15, 2022, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order requires universal masking at outdoor and indoor mega events regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Masks are required to be worn by everyone at all times except when actively eating or drinking at these events. The threshold has been lowered for indoor mega events to 500 attendees and outdoor mega events to 5,000 attendees.

Be Prepared to Show Proof of Vaccine Status or a Negative Test Result

Beginning December 6, 2021, all in-bound international passengers (including U.S. citizens and permanent residents) must provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 24 hours of departure, regardless of vaccination status. View the U.S. Travel Association‘s International Traveler FAQs.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requires verification of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for select high-risk settings. That health officer order stated that beginning October 7, 2021, all attendees at outdoor mega events (10,000+ attendees) must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test result within 72 hours prior to entry; children under 12 years of age are exempt. This is already required for attendees at indoor mega events.

As of November 4, 2021, an updated health officer order requires patrons 12 and older entering any indoor bars, nightclubs or wineries in Los Angeles County to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

The county’s public health department accepts the following documentation as proof of full vaccination:

  • The white CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card
  • The yellow World Health Organization vaccine card
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider
  • A California Immunization Registry (CAIR2) vaccination record
  • A digital vaccination record issued by California Department of Public Health
  • A digital vaccination record from an approved company like Healthvana, Carbon Health, CommonPass, CLEAR Health Pass or VaxYes.

Get Tested

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism urges residents and visitors to travel safely and responsibly. Part of protecting yourself and others during this ever-changing pandemic is getting tested if you are experiencing symptoms, if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, or if you are traveling to stay compliant with current travel requirements.

Below are some resources to access COVID-19 testing. Please review each site’s specifics for test type, pricing for expedited results, and turnaround time. Some sites may require advance booking while others accept walk-ins.

Plan Ahead

Research a business or activity you’re interested in doing before you go. Call the business directly or check their websites and social media channels to find out if their operations are different. If you still have questions please call our Visitor Center at 310-319-6263 or text 424-443-8830 seven days a week from 9am – 5pm, or stop in at 2427 Main Street, open Monday – Friday, 9am to 5:30pm; Saturday & Sunday, 9am to 5pm. We’re happy to help answer any questions you have about visiting Santa Monica right now.

Set Expectations for Your Visit

As businesses catch up with hiring staff and changing operations, we ask that you be patient and allow for some flexibility in your travel and activity plans.

While the beach and pier are must-visits on your vacation, there are many other unique neighborhoods in Santa Monica to explore which may be less crowded. Check out the numerous street art murals on Pico Boulevard with a self-guided walking tour, splurge at the boutique shops and cafes on Montana Avenue, dine alfresco at one of the many restaurants on Main Street, stop by a gallery or two in Mid-City’s thriving arts district, buy fresh seasonal produce at one of Downtown Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets or shop for treasures in the Ocean Park Boulevard/Santa Monica Airport Area.

Go Car-Free

Going car-free is easy within Santa Monica’s 8.3 square miles which offer pedestrian friendly sidewalks, miles and miles of bike lanes, a light rail connecting Santa Monica to downtown L.A., rideshare services, plus electric scooters. View all of Santa Monica’s public transportation options and review safety information for getting around the city.

If you must bring a vehicle, please read our parking page for more information.

Help Keep Santa Monica Clean

To keep our beachside city shining on, please be sure to clean up after yourself and throw all trash away in designated receptacles located on the beach and throughout the city.

Support Local Businesses

Did you know that for every $10 spent at a Santa Monica business, as much as $7 stays in the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures? With each purchase made in Santa Monica during your visit close you make an investment in our local economy, save time and reduce your carbon footprint.

Be on the lookout for Santa Monica Shines COVID-19 Assurance Program seals in the storefronts of Santa Monica businesses. These businesses have gone above and beyond to ensure you feel safe and comfortable. They have demonstrated rigorous cleaning protocols, trained staff on COVID-19 awareness and conducted an onsite walk-through with a member of Sustainable Works. Click here for more information.

View Santa Monica Safety Information including need-to-know numbers, police, fire department and hospital info.