This partner communication exists to provide timely information on Sonoma County’s tourism and hospitality industry, along with resources to help partners navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
April 6, 2021
Sonoma County was greeted with a double dose of good news today, with confirmation we’ll be moving into the orange tier tomorrow, and the even more promising announcement that California plans to fully reopen on June 15. On that date, all sectors listed in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy will be able to return to usual operations in compliance with Cal/OSHA requirements and with common-sense public health policies in place (such as required masking, testing and vaccinations encouraged). Large-scale indoor events, such as conventions, will be allowed to occur with testing or vaccination verification requirements. For more information on the state’s move beyond the Blueprint, click here.

It is exciting to consider that in just 10 short weeks this challenging period could largely be behind us, as life finally opens up for everyone. While masks will undoubtedly remain a part of our lives for the foreseeable future, our tourism and hospitality industries will once again be permitted to flourish. But in order to get to that point, we must remain vigilant, continue to adhere to safety measures, and encourage vaccinations for all that are eligible. The Governor has warned the June 15 date could be pushed back depending on case rates and other indicators. So let's keep up the good work, make our way into the yellow tier, and then come June 15, toast the end of this unforgettable chapter of our lives.
Kelly Bass Seibel
Director of Community Engagement
Sonoma County Tourism
Sonoma County Enters Orange Tier Tomorrow
Earlier today, the state announced it reached Gov. Newsom's goal of administering 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in the 400 ZIP codes hardest hit by the pandemic. As a result, the benchmarks for the Blueprint for a Safer Economy have once again been modified, and Sonoma County now qualifies to move to the orange tier beginning Wednesday, April 7 at 12:01 a.m.

Please refer to our Partner Alert from last Friday for an overview of changes permitted from the move from red to orange.
Guidance for Gatherings, Receptions, and Conferences
In our Partner Alert last Friday, SCT announced the state had updated its Blueprint for a Safer Economy with new guidance for gatherings, receptions, and conferences. You can access the CDPH guide here.

The guidance leaves a number of questions unanswered, such as guest distancing for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated; food and beverage service format/restrictions; dance floors and other social aspects of events. We hope these questions will be addressed through detailed guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health prior to April 15. That said, here is what we know can return for receptions/conferences beginning April 15:

In all tiers, modifications are required to reduce risk. This includes pre-purchased tickets or a defined guest list and assigned seating.

  • In the purple tier, these activities are only allowed outdoors and capacity is limited to 25 people. If all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to up to 100 people.
  • In the red tier, outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, and capacity increases to 200 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. In this tier, indoor activities are allowed if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination; capacity is limited to 100 people.
  • In the orange tier, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, and capacity increases to 300 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. In this tier, indoor activities are allowed if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination; capacity is limited to 150 people.
  • In the yellow tier, outdoor gatherings are limited to 200 people, and capacity increases to 400 if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. Indoor activities are allowed if all guests are tested or show full proof of vaccination; capacity is limited to 200 people. 

With guidance still pending from CDPH, we do not anticipate the verification of vaccination/test negative will fall to individual venues and believe verification is going to be the responsibility of the group/client/planner. We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available. 
Easing of State and National Travel Restrictions
The California Department of Public Health updated its travel advisory last week, removing the recommendation limiting non-essential travel to within 120 miles of one’s home.

The new recommendations supersede the Travel Advisory issued on April 1 and advise all travelers arriving in (or returning to) California from other states or countries to follow CDC travel guidanceAdditionally, all travelers who test positive or develop symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and follow public health recommendations.

Those fully vaccinated, and following CDC guidance, can travel safely within the United States and California, and are not required to test or quarantine before or after travel unless they have symptoms for COVID-19.

The California Department of Public Health still urges unvaccinated persons to avoid non-essential travel outside of California.
Tourism Cares Earth Day Cleanup along the Russian River
Sonoma County Tourism is delighted to once again partner with Sonoma County Regional Parks on a Tourism Cares event. Join us this Earth Day, April 22 at 9 a.m. for a physically distanced cleanup at Steelhead Beach Regional Park. Volunteers will help gather debris to both beautify the land and protect wildlife along the riverbank.
If demand is great enough with volunteer registrations, we may expand to a second cleanup site at Sunset Beach River Park. 
Cleanup supplies will be provided by Sonoma County Regional Parks. Volunteers will be given a (highly fashionable) Sonoma County Tourism Cares t-shirt.
Questions regarding this cleanup can be directed to Devin McConnell at
Shining Again for NTTW
One of Sonoma County Tourism’s projects for National Travel and Tourism Week is our lighting Pinot Purple initiative. We encourage you to join us in casting your property in purple light (the official color of hospitality) the nights of May 2-8. If your property has outdoor lighting, but you require purple gels, SCT can provide you with those at no cost. Participating businesses will be featured on our website and may receive additional exposure from coverage of this campaign.  
To request purple gels, or to let us know of your involvement, please fill out this form. Questions can be directed to Samantha Paull at
Sonoma County Tourism has a Coronavirus Partner Toolkit regularly updated here.

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has compiled a comprehensive list of local, state, and government resources (including financing options) for businesses at their SoCo Launch website here.
Get tested and help Sonoma County eliminate the coronavirus. Broad COVID-19 viral testing is now available. Learn more here.

The County of Sonoma’s SoCo Emergency webpage offers COVID-19 resources, support, and information.