Lake Tahoe closed to tourists from Friday due to coronavirus

One of the most popular holiday destinations in the US will be closed to tourists from Friday due to coronavirus.

Lake Tahoe, which straddles the states of California and Nevada, would normally be welcoming skiers at this time of year and would be particularly busy over the Christmas period.

But California’s new Regional Stay Home Order has meant that almost all tourism activities will essentially stop.

The Order, which is triggered when a region’s ICU capacity falls below 15 per cent, will begin on 11 December and last for a minimum of three weeks.

It means that hotels and other accommodation cannot accept guests for leisure travel, although essential travel, such as those travelling for work, is still permissible.

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Ski resorts are allowed to stay open, with additional restrictions in place. Restaurants, bars and pubs are required to operate on a takeaway basis only, while cinemas and museums must close.

There is a bit more flexibility on the Nevada side, which is currently operating under increased restrictions.

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While restaurants and bars are allowed to remain open for table service, capacity is limited at just 25 per cent. Other indoor venues, such as cinemas and galleries, are also restricted to just 25 per cent capacity. Hotels and other accommodation will remain open.

The news has come as a devastating blow for the region, which also had to close earlier in the year when California went into lockdown.

Lake Tahoe isn’t the only holiday destination to introduce additional travel restrictions over Christmas.

Earlier this week, Greece announced that visitors hoping to travel to the country during Christmas and New Year will need to quarantine for 10 days on arrival in addition to the existing restrictions.

The country already has strict rules in place for inbound travellers. They must take a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival and complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours ahead of reaching Greece.

They must also take a rapid Covid-19 test on arrival. At present, if it is negative they are free to enter Greece – but are subject to the current lockdown measures.

Italy has introduced similar quarantine requirements just for the Christmas and New Year period.

Currently visitors need to take a PCR or antigen test 48 hours before travel and show proof of a negative result and test date at the border.

But between 21 December 2020 and 6 January 2021, new arrivals must quarantine for 14 days – although they don’t need to take a Covid test.

The Foreign Office has advised that if you are planning to travel to Italy during this time, you should be prepared to complete a self-declaration form stating your personal details and the address at which you will self-isolate.

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