Dear Partners,

On March 23, Governor Jay Inslee issued a Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation that took 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

All non-essential businesses must close by tonight, the evening of March 25. Many businesses can and should continue to telework, according Governor Inslee.

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.

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 to access  Washington State Business Re-Entry Registration (BRE) information

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.

We are continuing to place updated information daily on our Travel Advisory page.

We are also continuing to support our members through updated information about your businesses on, such as our recent article about Restaurants Offering Take Out, and on our Bellingham Experience social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Buy Now, Play Later!
As a way for visitors and locals alike to show support for local businesses, arts organizations, and attractions, the Washington Tourism Alliance has built a website where people can show Washington State businesses some love by purchasing gift cards for future use. If you would like to feature your business and you don't already have a way for people to purchase gift cards, you can get set up for gift card purchases by visiting  to create one. Once that is accomplished you will get a link to put on your website   and also on the  site.   We are located in the North Cascades area of the site.   
For a quick tutorial on how to get set up, click here 

Sandy Ward
President & CEO
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism