San Luis Obispo County has been known, unofficially, as Bakersfield West over the years, with the Coast serving as a home away from home for Kern County residents.
But, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, California counties gradually starting to reopen, social distancing still being requested and a major holiday on the horizon, officials in San Luis Obispo County are asking visitors to stay away.
Earlier this week the county announced new regulations to help curb the amount of visitors heading to the Coast.
In a Facebook post, the county said, "Effective May 17, short-term lodging facilities in SLO County must limit occupancy to no more than 50%. Residential vacation rentals also must reduce the number of permitted tenancies per month by 50%."
The county also said in the post, "We love having visitors, but now is not the time for leisure travel in SLO County. Ahead of holiday weekend, the County wants to ensure lodging is available for essential workers, those needed to self-isolate or quarantine, and our vulnerable population."
The county also posted a list of who can use short-term lodging:
- Essential workers who need a place to stay while working in SLO County or traveling to/from essential work. This includes workers in health care, utilities, groceries, and more. See emergencyslo.org/reopening for details.
- Protecting the homeless population
- People who need to self-isolate or quarantine, and people who cannot stay in their own home because someone there needs to self-isolate or quarantine
- People who are here to care for a vulnerable person (elderly, minor, dependent, person with disabilities or other vulnerable population) who lives in SLO County.
The county also posted a list if ways lodging facilities should not be used:
- People traveling for fun, vacation, recreation or leisure
- People planning optional trips to visit friends or family
- Any purposes other than those outlined above
Short-term lodging includes hotels, motor hotels, motels, tourist courts or cabins, bed and breakfast inns, timeshares, RV parks, campgrounds, residential vacation rentals and homestays, according to the county.
The county said it will re-visit the order every 14 days.