More to Read: COVID-19 Travel Advisory // FAQ on Seattle Street Safety
Updated: Thursday, July 1, 2021
After fifteen long months, Seattle is OPEN. Thanks to flattening COVID-19 cases and increased vaccination rates, Washington state businesses were permitted to reopen at full capacity as of June 30. Seattle, the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70% of residents 12 and older, is safely welcoming back visitors.
Travelers to Seattle—and all destinations—should continue to observe the health recommendations of national and local public health officials, as they plan to travel, while in transit, and while visiting any destination. Travelers to Seattle should know that Visit Seattle is in close contact with regional public health officials and elected officials, as well as with national travel associations, and will actively communicate with visitors as the situation changes.
Are masks required in Seattle for fully vaccinated individuals?
While masks are no longer mandated in most situations, it is still recommended to keep one available in the event that you need it.
Seattle and King County are now following Washington state’s mask guidance, which currently says that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask in most situations, especially outdoors. There is still a statewide mask order in place for unvaccinated people ages 2 and older.
All people, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks in some settings:
- Public transportation and in transportation hubs including airports, bus or ferry terminals, and trains.
- Child care facilities, camps, K-12 schools or other child-focused settings when children are present or expected to be present.
- Health care settings like hospitals, long-term care, or doctors’ offices; correctional facilities and homeless shelters.
- Businesses and local governments can set more protective mask requirements, even though some state restrictions have been lifted. That’s why we say respect the rules of the room you’re in — the rules may change depending on where you are.
- Masking requirements may be different for your place of work than for the general public, depending on the type of work you do. Masking guidance for employers is available on the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website.
Please note: Businesses have the right to set their own rules and regulations on face coverings. We kindly ask visitors to determine and adhere to the individual guidelines of each business in Seattle and King County.
What public health orders are currently in effect in Seattle and Washington State?
With the exception of large indoor events (with more than 10,000 simultaneous participants), Washington state has lifted all guidelines. For details, please reference the state’s Washington Ready document.
Seattle and King County continue to follow CDC guidelines, so please be aware of these while planning travel.
Is it possible to travel to Seattle/Washington State?
Washingtonians and others who may be visiting Washington from outside the state are expected to comply with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) current COVID-19 travel advisory guidance. This guidance recommends travelers delay travel until they are fully vaccinated, at which point they can travel safely within the United States.
If not vaccinated, travelers are expected to follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people, which includes testing before and after travel, wearing a mask, continuing to socially distance and maintain good hand hygiene.
Detailed guidance for domestic and international travelers is available on the CDC website.
Please note that global travel restrictions for international visitors to the United States:
- The U.S. temporarily closed its common borders with Canada and Mexico for non-essential travel. Non-essential travelers will be turned back at both borders.
- Foreign nationals who have visited one of these countries in the past 14 days may not enter the U.S.:
- European Schengen area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City)
- United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
- Republic of Ireland
- South Africa
For the latest flight and airport information, refer to the SEA Airport travel advisory or contact your airline directly.
Is it safe to fly to Seattle?
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has implemented extensive new cleaning procedures to support the health and safety of travelers. Some of these measures include:
- The addition of more than 250 hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal;
- Cleaning common areas every two hours (six times as often as pre-COVID);
- Frequently disinfecting high-touch areas, such as buttons, handrails and counters;
- Cleaning and disinfecting the terminal and buses each week.
Airlines are also implementing their own stringent cleaning and safety measures. Here are two examples:
- Alaska Airlines has partnered with the University of Washington Medical Directors, specializing in Infectious Diseases, to create Next-Level Care. This new standard includes required mask-wearing for passengers and crew, increased space and blocked seats between passengers on flights, cleaning planes with electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, and more.
- Delta’s StandardCare is in partnership with Lysol®, and focuses on keeping surfaces clean and disinfected, giving passengers more space and requiring customers and employees to wear masks.
SEA Airport has provided the following resources to travelers:
Are there any closures or restrictions of note for visitors to Seattle/King County, such as attractions, hotels, restaurants or meeting venues?
As Seattle reopens, we encourage visitors and locals to be aware that all sectors of the hospitality industry are experiencing staffing shortages, and kindly ask for understanding and patience with businesses and staff. While businesses are now permitted to operate at full capacity, some may continue at limited capacity or remain closed until they are more properly staffed.
Hotels are eager to welcome visitors and implemented a wide array of cleaning and social distancing policies to keep guests and staff safe and comfortable. Some amenities, dining, and other services may be limited, so please check with your hotel on their current status before traveling.
Meeting Venues in Washington State are allowed to operate at full capacity, with the exception of large indoor gatherings.
Large indoor events are defined as any event with more than 10,000 simultaneous participants located in an indoors enclosed space. Large indoor events are restricted to 75% capacity, unless vaccination verification is occurring. If vaccination verification is occurring prior to entry and the venue requires all attendees be vaccinated, there are no capacity restrictions. Vaccinated sections, however, are not permitted as a way to exceed 75% capacity—all attendees must be vaccinated. No physical distancing requirements apply and attendees must follow the current masking requirements.
Restaurants may operate at full capacity.
Museums may operate at full capacity.
Retailers may operate at full capacity.
Outdoor recreation including parks, trails, and beaches is allowed with no restrictions. Camping is available where open.
Resources and updates for some popular Seattle attractions:
Additional detailed guidance and information is available on the governor’s website.
What are Seattle businesses doing to ensure the health and safety of their guests?
As businesses reopen in the Seattle area, they are held to cleanliness protocols as outlined by King County Public Health. Many, however, are going to even further measures to help ensure the health & safety of guests and employees. Please check with individual businesses for details on their policies.
Am I able to enjoy the city, county, state, and national parks?
Absolutely. As with everything, please check the status of specific parks before you visit.
Official Park Websites:
Click to learn more about #RecreateResponsibly guidelines
What actions are the Washington State Convention Center taking to ensure the safety of its meeting attendees?
Washington State Convention Center is actively pursuing Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. Please read their Safety First Overview for details.
Will there be a 2021 cruise season from Seattle?
Yes! The first cruise ships arrived in Elliott Bay on June 29 to prepare for a late 2021 season with departures as early as July 24. For further details on this evolving situation, please monitor official updates from the Port of Seattle.
Public Health and Traveler Resources