COVID-19 - Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to common questions regarding the City of Santa Monica’s emergency preparedness efforts and local response to the coronavirus. The L.A. County Department of Public Health has FAQs available on their site along with resources for employers and schools in multiple languages.
Skip AheadCOVID-19 Home Construction Street Cleaning, Trash & Recycling Transportation & Parking Businesses Youth & Families
Where can I find more information about the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is leading COVID-19 vaccine distribution. For more information about who can receive the vaccine, visit VaccinateLACounty.com. For general information about how the vaccine works and why it is important to get vaccinated, click here.
Are cloth face coverings required in Santa Monica?
Yes, the City of Santa Monica issued a fourteenth supplement to Santa Monica’s local emergency, extending the declaration of local emergency and all associated orders to June 30, 2020. The supplement also requires cloth face coverings for all permitted outdoor activities, except water activities. For more information about face covering requirements in Santa Monica, click here.
Testing and Exposure
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
All LA County residents who want a COVID-19 test should first call their primary care provider or healthcare center to get a test at their facility. If you do not have this care, testing is offered across the County of Los Angeles. To search for testing appointments available at locations across LA County and learn more about testing priority, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/. The Santa Monica College testing site only appears on the County's testing site map is appointments are available.
A walk-up testing site is available by appointment only at the Santa Monica Airport. More Information
Someone I have been in close contact or exposed to COVID-19. What should I do?
In Los Angeles County, if you have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, please follow these instructions on what to do.
Are gatherings permitted under Los Angeles County's current health officer order?
As public health directives shift, we want to provide residents and businesses with what they need to know. LA County implemented additional safety modifications to the existing Health Officer Order that prohibits public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household, except for church services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights. Here’s the latest as of November 25, 2020.
Is construction permitted?
Yes, all types of construction are currently permitted by the State and County Safer at Home Orders. However, construction sites must comply with the County's Guidance on Construction Sites and Santa Monica’s stronger order and regulations on construction projects. Failure to comply with the County's or the City's requirements may be subject to City enforcement, including potential stoppage of work.
I work at a construction site. What can I do to create a safe work environment?
Start with our COVID-19 Related Regulations for Construction Projects, which specifies procedures that all construction sites must follow to practice social distancing and properly clean worksites. These regulations incorporate the County’s Guidance and compliance is mandatory.
A summary of the regulations include:
- Mandatory face coverings and personal protective equipment;
- A Site Safety Representative must be present on the construction site at all times and monitor and implement recommended COVID-19 safety practices;
- A health and safety plan that addresses how each construction project will comply with the regulations is required
- Mandatory daily cleaning of the construction site, including frequently touched surfaces, common break areas, and cleaning of any shared tools or equipment before and after each shift; and
- Maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet between crew members, to the greatest extent feasible.
Failure to adhere to these regulations could be subject to enforcement by the City, including significant penalties and potential stoppage of work.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-458-8355.
There is construction in my building, where workers are not complying with physical distancing or proper environmental cleaning practices. What should I do?
Per State and County orders, construction is permitted, but it needs to be done following important public health guidelines and in compliance with Santa Monica’s COVID-19 Related Regulations for Construction Projects. Our regulations build on the County's mandatory Guidance on Construction Sites. Among other things, our regulations require that areas within an occupied residential building that are accessed by construction workers but that are not within the actual construction project must be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily, including following completion of work each day.
We are proactively reminding active projects in Santa Monica to abide by the health guidelines and are asking them to be a responsible neighbor during this public health emergency. Our local enforcement measures and regulations also allow the City’s Building Official to shut down work if these guidelines are not followed. To report a project you believe is out of compliance, contact Code Enforcement at email@example.com or call (310) 458-4984.
Street Cleaning, Trash and Recycling
Is street cleaning happening on schedule?
On Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10, street sweeping resumed in Santa Monica neighborhoods once per month during the first full week of every month. Community members are required to move their car on street sweeping days. The City will issue citations for parking violations based on street sweeping requirements. If a Citywide curfew is implemented, street sweeping will be delayed to the following week. For maintenance issues, use the City’s Santa Monica Works system on smgov.net/santamonicaworks.
Street sweeping restrictions are being enforced beginning Monday, July 6. Street sweeping occurs in neighborhoods once per month during the first full week.
Should I continue to place recyclable materials in the blue bin?
Yes. While some Material Recovery Facilities are currently sending recyclable materials to the landfill to protect their workers from COVID-19 infection, the City of Santa Monica is working to identify recyclers who have protective health measures in place for their workers and are able to continue recycling our materials. During the current pandemic conditions, the City will continue to recycle materials to the maximum extent practicable.
Transportation and Parking
Do I need to press the Pedestrian Request Button?
During COVID-19, you no longer need to press the pedestrian request button at signalized intersections. This will help flatten the curve and means that pedestrians will always have their turn to cross the street and reach essential destinations without endangering themselves and others. Together, let’s create a safe and friendly Santa Monica.
Can I still park at the Santa Monica Beach Lots, and do I still need to pay?
Visit santamonica.gov/coronavirus-openings for the latest information.
Will street parking be enforced?
Enforcement of all preferential parking permit zones citywide resumed Monday, January 4, 2021. Please ensure you follow the posted signage and have a current permit to avoid receiving a citation. To renew or apply for new parking permits, please visit smgov.net/parking.
Will street sweeping be enforced?
Yes, the City is enforcing street sweeping restrictions citywide. Click here for parking updates in Santa Monica.
Will I be fined if my residential parking permits expires during this emergency?
Enforcement of all preferential parking permit zones citywide resumed on Monday, January 4, 2021. Please ensure you follow the posted signage and have a current permit to avoid receiving a citation. To renew or apply for new parking permits, please visit smgov.net/parking.
Do I still need to pay at my parking meters?
You need to pay for parking at all Santa Monica parking meters or you may be fined. We are trying to encourage turn over in spaces for food delivery and and pick up.
When can my business reopen?
The timeline for reopening non-essential businesses is set by the County Department of Public Health; regrettably Santa Monica cannot make any exceptions. Please look for information about your particular sector on these websites:
- County of LA Roadmap to Recovery - contains reopening timelines by sector
- County of LA Department of Public Health’s Coronavirus Website
If your sector is missing or you have further questions, you will need to contact the County directly. A good place to start is with County of LA Department of Consumer & Business Affairs Office of Small Business
- Call (800) 593-8222 or (844) 432-4900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State, County, and local orders governing closure of businesses are enforceable by state and local authorities. If you find a business that remains open that should be closed, please contact the COVID-19 Hotline or Code Enforcement at (310) 458-4984.
What is the City doing to help our local businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19?
The City has launched a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce to advise city government as economic recovery efforts get underway. Learn more at: www.santamonica.gov/economicrecovery
Youth and Families
Does the City have a roundup of resources for youth and families?
I am an essential worker who needs emergency child care. Help!
The City recommends calling our early education partner Connections for Children for 1:1 referral assistance, an updated list of Santa Monica providers, and information about available subsidies at (310) 452-3325, ext. 260.
Essential workers may also be eligible to receive funding to subsidize your child care. Learn more.
Can child care remain open?
Yes, alongside the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), the City of Santa Monica encourages all early care and education (ECE) providers to remain open as long as the center or child care home can operate safely, according to both California Community Care Licensing and LACDPH guidelines.
I am a licensed childcare provider in Santa Monica who is open and taking more children. How can I let residents know?
Please add yourself to the City’s Essential Services Map here. We also encourage all local businesses to sign up for free marketing support at Buy Local Santa Monica here (family childcare providers can list zip code only to keep your address confidential).
Parks and Beaches
When the beaches are open, what is allowed?
When the beach is open, the following activites are allowed:
- Individual or family ocean activities (such as surfing, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding and body surfing)
- Individual or family active recreation & exercise (such as walking, running and using the beach bike path)
- Sunbathing, sitting and lying on sand
- Chairs, canopies or coolers
The following activities are not allowed:
- Beach volleyball
- Other Group or organized sports
- Gatherings or events
Is the Pier open?
Yes, the Santa Monica Pier opened on June 24. Please visit santamonicapier.org for details.
Which areas of the beach are currently still closed?
To continue to protect the health and safety of the Santa Monica community and our neighbors, many restrictions remain and the following spaces remain closed:
- Select Beach Parking lots, visit santamonica.gov/coronavirus-reopenings for details.
- Beach playgrounds and athletic facilities (such as Muscle Beach)
Which activities and items are prohibited?
Volleyball, group sports, gatherings, events, congregating with people outside of one’s own household, and being on the beach at night (the beach will only be open during daylight hours).
Do I still have to wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing on the beach?
Yes. Face coverings are required out of the water (except children under age 2 and children with breathing problems) and maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet are required for everyone on the beach and outside of the water.
What is the City doing to prevent gatherings on the beach/parks?
While enforcement will focus on education and compliance to ensure the public’s health, the Santa Monica Police Department will be monitoring compliance and enforcing as needed in order to address public health risks, and the beach – and can issue citations for repeat violators of LA County orders. If you see a gathering of more than 10 people, please email email@example.com with an approximate date and details about the gathering.
Will the parking meter restrictions that were near the beach (Ocean Ave., Bay St.) resume?
All beach/Ocean Avenue parking meters are available for use, please remember parking meters and preferential parking in zone 3 is being enforced.
Is Ocean Front Walk open?
Are parks open?
Yes, all Santa Monica parks are open, except Adelaide Stairs. Residents are encouraged to take a walk near their home, ensuring 6 feet of distance between them and others and are encouraged to wear a face covering.
Please know that we are working with City of Los Angeles on developing a plan to reopen the Adelaide Stairs. The large majority of the stairs is City of Los Angeles Property, with only a few stairs under Santa Monica’s control. The narrow nature of the stairs makes physical distancing a challenge and we know people do not consistently wear face coverings while doing heavy exercise. The Stairs do pose some concern related to spread of disease however, we are still in discussion as we move into Stage 3 of the County Public Health Order.
Are the Santa Monica stairs closed?
Yes, we are working with City of Los Angeles on developing a plan to reopen the Adelaide Stairs. The large majority of the stairs is City of Los Angeles Property, with only a few stairs under Santa Monica’s control. The narrow nature of the stairs makes physical distancing a challenge and we know people do not consistently wear face coverings while doing heavy exercise. The Stairs do pose some concern related to spread of disease however, we are still in discussion as we move into Stage 3 of the County Public Health Order.