April 30, 2020
Governor Newsom Provides Update on California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom, alongside California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell, today laid out an update on California’s Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience, which discusses how the state is planning its path forward – in phases based on science, health and data.

Dear Industry Partners,

California’s relative success navigating the coronavirus health crisis once again confirms what we all know: Californians are a resilient bunch -- staying home and safe, for the most part, and flattening the pandemic’s curve as public health officials have hoped.

Gov. Newsom and his public health team have set out a methodical process for overcoming the health threat and phasing in the reopening of California’s economy, including the travel and tourism industry.

As he described on his daily briefing earlier today, this phased process will take time, continues to have an uncertain timeline, and relies exclusively on the state meeting benchmarks on health and safety preparedness. Reopening businesses and returning to some semblance of normal activity will roll out in four stages.

Of particular note to Visit California and partners across the state:

  • Phase one is now, and all industries should start making serious plans about how to retool workplaces and business practices to be safer.
  • Phase two will come within weeks, and could include opening schools for the 2020-21 academic year in July — the heart of the family vacation period — to make up for lost classroom time this spring. It also could include reopening some parks, trails, and restaurants. 
  • Phase three is measured in months from now, and could allow some small gatherings, sporting events with no crowds, etc., and leisure travel.
  • Phase four, which includes sporting events with live audiences, concerts and meetings in convention halls “will take some time,” the governor said. Reaching that level will require a therapeutic response to the coronavirus. 

Waiting out this pandemic and watching the economic projections grow grimmer – nine times worse than 9/11, a 50 percent cut in tourism jobs and visitor spending statewide – is difficult, even for an industry that has recovered from economic downturns, natural disasters and other crises. Watching other states open up before us isn’t easy, either.

Still, we must trust in the government’s ability to restore the economy and protect the health of Californians. And we must trust in our industry’s ability to influence that process by providing constructive suggestions, best practices and detailed context about how we conduct business.

Isn’t it possible, for instance, to configure convention space that abides by physical distancing concerns?

Aren’t there protocols that would make drive-distance overnight trips safe?

These plans will continue to take shape, and Visit California will be monitoring closely. The governor’s task force on recovery includes several tourism/hospitality champions, and there is a possibility there will be a tourism subcommittee.

Moreover, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development asked for feedback at this website. I encourage our industry to use this survey to provide feedback directly to the state government — our industry must make its voice heard.

As always, thank you for your support and resilience during this time.

Dream Big!

Caroline Beteta
President & CEO
Visit California
Targeted Resources to Help You Get Back to Business

  1. COVID-19 Model Sign To Post - To proactively defend against personal injury or wrongful death claims due to COVID-19, attached is a template sign that you can to post on the front door of your business. In addition, it is important to take concrete, identifiable steps to protect employees and customers/guests by following CDC guidance on (1) best practices for social distancing (consider requiring patrons to wear masks depending on your business), (2) guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the workplace, and (3) properly separating employees who have an exposure to a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case. You can find updated guidance on these subjects on the CDC’s FAQ page. If you are operating an “essential business” employing critical infrastructure workers, the CDC has adopted different guidelines to follow which allows asymptomatic employees who have had direct COVID-19 exposure to continue to work as long as certain guidelines are met. Click here.
  1. Model Resignation Letter When Employee Refuses to Return to Work – Last week, I sent out a “notice of recall, rehire, and reinstatement” to document employees who agree to return to work after a shutdown, lay-off, or furlough to maximize loan forgiveness for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Many of you have told me that some employees are refusing to return to work because they would prefer to remain on unemployment. To the extent you have full-time work available - or to the extent you are going to pay someone not to work with PPP funds - that employee is technically not eligible for unemployment anymore and would need to return to work unless they have a legitimate reason to request a leave of absence (i.e. under the FFCRA or otherwise under company policy). Otherwise, their refusal to return can be deemed (in your discretion) a resignation. If an employee refuses to return to work when recalled and if the employee does not have a legitimate reason under company policy to be off of work, you can document the employee’s refusal with the attached model resignation letter to maximize PPP loan forgiveness. Click here.
  1. Fisher Phillips’ “Post-Pandemic” Back to Business FAQ’s– Please take a moment to check out this “Post-Pandemic” FAQ as it is a complete playbook on re-opening your business. Click here to review.
Purchasing Resources

Face masks, face guards and sneeze guards:

Educational resources and products: https://hdsupplysolutions.com/
"Ask the Experts" Conference Call
Friday May1, 2020 at 1pm
Contact info@clia.org for dial-in instructions
Hotel Sales Teams: Use Downtime To Up Your Game
By Doug Kennedy brought to you by 4hoteliers.com
The flood of calls and emails regarding cancellations and postponements has abated, and most hotels are lucky to have even a trickle of RFP’s coming in from traditional channels.
For most markets, being too aggressive with traditional cold-call prospecting right now might be perceived as being insensitive. As a result, salespeople might be finding themselves with far more downtime than they’ve had in years.

This phase presents the perfect opportunity for hotel sales, and catering & event salespeople to master their use of sales tools such as screen sharing, video email and webcam meetings.
Express Yourself!

Fill out business impacts survey: To ensure our industry has a voice in the recovery conversations at the state level, it’s important to quantify the impacts on travel businesses and their employees. Please spend 10 minutes filling out this survey.

Focus on social media: Keep your business and destination visible on social media. Visit California has developed tools to help, such as the #CATakeoutTuesday campaign. It’s customizable for your own destination — check out the toolkit here .

OnwardCA is an initiative of companies, foundations, and humans to get California workers displaced by COVID-19 essential life services and back to work as quickly as possible.
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