Safe Travel Guidance

Last Update: Saturday, March 12, 2022

The safe and healthy travel of our visitors is our highest priority. At this time, all industry sectors, including restaurants, bars, stores, theaters and other businesses have returned to normal capacity and operations. 

The statewide mask mandate has been lifted for all outdoor and most indoor venues, effective March 12, 2022. Masks are still required in hospitals and on public transit, and specific businesses reserve the right to implement their own masking requirements.


Studies show that the act of PLANNING a trip puts us in the same positive psychological state as being on the trip itself. So, if you are eager to feel better in stressful times, consider planning a trip to the Olympia region.

Impact Timeline

  • January 21, 2020 / The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in Washington State.
  • February 29, 2020 / Washington State Governor Jay Inslee declared a State of Emergency throughout the state to reduce the number of infections and maximize containment in the region.
  • March 11, 2020 / Thurston County Public Health and Social Services announced the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Thurston County. To access updated information from PHSS about Covid-19 in Thurston County click here.
  • March 12, 2020 / Thurston County's Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution declaring the Covid-19 outbreak a local emergency. The Thurston County Board of Health then passed a resolution imposing restrictions for events over 250 people and social-distancing measures for events with less than 250 people.
  • March 16, 2020 / Gov. Inslee signed an emergency proclamation banning gatherings over 50 people. Gatherings with fewer than 50 people are prohibited unless strict criteria for hygiene & social distancing are met. Grocery stores & pharmacies will stay open. Restaurants that allow take-out service will continue to operate. Dine-in restaurants, bars, clubs & theaters, indoor recreational venues such as gyms and yoga studios must cease operations. Retail stores are closed unless operating at special capacities and strict criteria for hygiene and social distancing. These rules will be in effect until March 30, 2020 and may be extended after that.
  • March 29, 2020 / United States Government advises canceling all events of 10 or more people nationwide until April 30. Washington State extends stay at home order until April 30.
  • May 1, 2020 / Washington State extends the stay at home order until May 31 and announces a phased "Safe Start" reopening program
  • May 5, 2020 / Washington State lifts some restrictions on outdoor recreation
  • May 27, 2020 / Thurston County moved into Phase 2 of Washington State's "Safe Start" reopening program
  • June 24, 2020 / Thurston County moved into Phase 3 of Washington State's "Safe Start" reopening program
  • June 26, 2020 / Washington State implements a statewide mask requirement. Read the full requirement information here.
  • July 17, 2020 / Washington State prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more people and establishes a prohibition on all live entertainment (indoor and outdoor) statewide. Read the press release here.
  • August 21, 2020 / Washington State updates a variety of guidelines around museums, bowling, agritourism and outdoor recreation. Read the press release here.
  • September 16, 2020 / Washington State updates a variety of guidelines around weddings & funerals
  • September 21, 2020 / Washington State updates guidelines for Agritourism Businesses
  • October 6, 2020 / Washington State updates a variety of guidelines around restaurants, movie theaters, weddings, retail, sports and more
  • November 13, 2020 / Washington State recommends a 14-day quarantine for interstate and international travel and asks residents to stay close to home
  • November 15, 2020 / Washington State enacts new restrictions on social gatherings, restaurants, retail and more
  • January 5, 2021 / Washington State implements "Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery" establishing guidelines for reopening of all business sectors based on metrics established by the Department of Health.
  • February 1, 2021 / Thurston County moves into Phase 2 of "Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery" with updated guidance for restaurants and miscellaneous venues.
  • March 11, 2021 / Washington State announces Phase 3 of "Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery" moving both indoor and outdoor events and activities to 50% of venue capacity or 400 people maximum, effective March 22. Phase 3 also establishes guidance for spectators for both indoor and outdoor events.
  • March 19, 2021 / Washington State Governor Jay Inslee rescinds November travel advisory requiring a 14-day quarantine, defaulting to CDC guidance.
  • May 13, 2021 / Washington State announces statewide reopening date of June 30 and short-term statewide move to Phase 3.
  • August 18, 2021 / Washington State announces a statewide mask mandate for all indoor settings, to include fully-vaccinated individuals, effective August 23.