Catalina Island Reopens to Tourists With New COVID-19 Precautions
"Businesses on the island have done an incredible job of implementing appropriate safety protocols."
As California lifts its stay-at-home orders, the picturesque island of Catalina, near the coast of Los Angeles, announced that it is once again open for visitors.
"The health and well-being of our residents and all visitors is the top priority right now, and businesses on the island have done an incredible job of implementing appropriate safety protocols," President and CEO Jim Luttjohann of the island's tourism authority, Love Catalina, said in a statement this week.
Catalina businesses, which rely on tourism, will be eagerly awaiting visitors on holidays like President's Day and Valentine's Day and will welcome visitors for Spring Break vacations.
For visitors, the Catalina Express ferry has resumed daily service for passengers from Long Beach and weekend service from San Pedro and Dana Point. Visitors should reserve a seat in advance, as ships are operating at reduced capacity. IEX Helicopters is also offering on-demand daily flights to Catalina from multiple locations in Southern California. The Catalina Flyer ferry service will resume service on Feb. 26.
Hotels and vacation rentals are open and campgrounds are expected to fully reopen on Feb. 12. Most retail shops and services are also open, in addition to many recreational activities like jet ski or bike rentals.
Face masks and social distancing are required when in public. Catalina is only allowed outdoor and takeaway dining at this time, but many restaurants are taking advantage and setting up tables directly on the beach for a unique dining experience.
A list of open businesses, as well as their hours and COVID-19 practices, is available on the Love Catalina website.
Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to check hours and make reservations when possible in order to help businesses accommodate social distancing rules.