Love Catalina, the official Catalina Island Tourism Authority, has just announced that the picturesque island located off the Southern California coast, is once again welcoming leisure travelers, with proper COVID-19 protocols in place.
The state has lifted its stay-at-home orders, allowing tourism activities, and hotel and rental accommodations to resume operations. Los Angeles County recently updated its public health orders to allow additional categories of businesses to reopen. Hotels and vacation rentals are now accepting reservations, while campgrounds are scheduled to fully reopen on February 12.
Local businesses, retail shops and recreational activities are now open to experience in-person, and restaurants currently offer outdoor dining—some of them with tables set right on the beach. All of Catalina Island’s establishments are adhering to social distancing and face-covering guidelines under county-wide health orders.
The Catalina Express ferry has resumed daily passenger service from Long Beach to Avalon; weekend service from San Pedro to both Two Harbors and Avalon; and weekend service from Orange County’s Dana Point to Avalon. The Catalina Flyer ferry is scheduled to resume service on February 26 out of Newport Beach. Alternatively, travelers can book helicopter service, available seven days a week from several Southern California locations.
“The health and well-being of our residents and all visitors is the top priority right now, and businesses on the island have done an incredible job of implementing appropriate safety protocols,” Love Catalina President and CEO Jim Luttjohann said in a statement. “The ability to safely welcome leisure travelers back and resume overnight accommodations, outdoor tours, activities, dining and more, is not only a promising sign for the future of travel, but will also be a vital lifeline for saving so many of the businesses and jobs on our small island that relies on tourism. Being open for President’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Spring Break is wonderful.”
Due to the need for social distancing and smaller group sizes, many activities are requiring guests to make reservations in advance. Prospective visitors are also encouraged to contact businesses, attractions and service providers directly to verify their status and availability before booking. While many island businesses, parks, harbors and beaches are now open, some have only limited service at this time.
A collection of real-time updates from Catalina’s transportation providers, services and businesses, including closures and hours of operation, is available on Love Catalina’s ‘What’s Open’ webpage.