Can I Go Out If I’m Not Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 in San Diego?
David Muñoz | May 11, 2022 | California Law
COVID-19 is still affecting the world. Multiple jurisdictions nationwide are contemplating new lockdowns as new strains of the virus continue to affect the population. However, society is still moving forward.
In the City and County of San Diego, the rules for going out in public have evolved over the past couple of years. Because there are no city-wide or county-wide mandates regarding full vaccination, various bodies of authority, such as schools, have mulled over and adopted their own rules regarding full vaccination.
In other words, whether you need to be fully vaccinated when going out in San Diego depends on where you’re going.
Is COVID-19 Still a Threat in San Diego?
COVID-19 still remains a significant threat to the population of San Diego. As of late April 2022, its R-effective is at 0.97, which means the virus spread is likely stable. The R-effective number signifies the likelihood of an epidemic occurring. Anything over 1.00 shows a high likelihood that the spread will become an epidemic.
Must I Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 to Go Out in San Diego?
It depends on where you go. Schools, businesses, governments, and other establishments all have individual rules concerning a person’s vaccination status.
There is no vaccine mandate whatsoever regarding being out in the open air in public. Open-air spaces include:
However, facilities at these locations might have mask mandates. In addition, employees of these locations who interact with the public might have to comply with mask and vaccine requirements.
Various public transportation services handle much of San Diego’s vast transportation needs. Some of them include:
- San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
- San Diego International Airport
None has a vaccine mandate, but employees may be under vaccine or mask requirements. Additionally, none of these has a mask mandate, principally due to a controversial ruling from a federal judge in Florida. With that being said, masks are highly recommended and encouraged on some public transportation.
Individual Indoor Businesses
There is currently no mandate that indoor businesses must require proof of vaccination from patrons. Even indoor mega-events are not under a vaccine requirement in San Diego, in part due to California dropping its statewide mega-event mask mandate.
Various schools and campuses are found throughout the city and county. Depending on the governing authority, there may be vaccine mandates at these types of locations. For example, the University of California, San Diego requires all students to be fully vaccinated. This applies to visitors as well.
The San Diego Unified School District has also instituted a vaccine mandate, requiring students over the age of 16, as well as faculty and staff, to be fully vaccinated starting this summer. This likely also applies to visitors to SDUSD schools.
You can enter San Diego government buildings without being fully vaccinated, but you must wear a mask if you are not. Most city employees must be fully vaccinated, barring a valid exception. However, San Diego County’s new hires are no longer under the previous vaccination mandate.
So Am I Safe to Go Out?
Generally speaking, you are free to go out in San Diego without being fully vaccinated.
Officials in San Diego have chosen to keep public transportation, businesses, and other indoor establishments free from vaccine mandates.
Of course, business and government employees are under different guidelines, as are students and school employees. The nature of COVID-19 and its course is still somewhat unpredictable. Any changes, such as rising transmission rates, sickness, or death, could lead to dramatic changes in current vaccination regulations.
Staying abreast of these changes will help keep you and your loved ones safe.
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