South Lake Tahoe, CA Approves $1,000 Fines for Nonessential Travel to Tahoe

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South Lake Tahoe, CA. image: getty images

El Dorado County’s (South Lake Tahoe, CA) board of supervisors passed an emergency ordinance on Tuesday, April 14th 2020, that authorizes local police to issue $1,000 fines to people traveling into the Tahoe Basin area for nonessential purposes.

Travelers and 2nd homeowners who come to the Tahoe Basin area for nonessential purposes may now receive a $1,000 fine while the current “no-travel” order is in place in El Dorado County, CA.

The city of South Lake Tahoe, CA has created its own $1,000 fine for people traveling to the city for nonessential purposes and for staying in vacation rentals.

According to interim Police Chief Shannon Laney, the city of South Lake Tahoe, CA has already written 3 citations.

“For the shelter in place ordinance, we have issued only three citations so far; one to a VHR who rented their home, one to an unpermitted VHR who rented their home, and one business.” – Police Chief Shannon Laney told the Tahoe Tribune

The “no-travel” order for El Dorado County is in place until April 30th and may be extended into May.

District 5 Supervisor Sue Novasel reports that vacation homes on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County have been packed with out-of-town visitors.

According to Novasel, the current orders and fines are set up to make sure the area’s only hospital, Barton Memorial, isn’t overwhelmed.

Barton Memorial Hospital has only 9 intensive care unit beds and 68 acute care hospital beds.

“The services we have just won’t support the extra population.  We’re just trying to deal with that very scary issue if (a surge) were to come to pass.

I’ve had people call me Hitler and all kinds of nasty things, saying that I’m taking away their constitutional rights.  The first thing the Constitution talks about, in the preamble, is the ability for us to take care of our citizens … Remember, this is just a temporary, emergency issue to try to limit illnesses and (promote) the safety of our public.”

– District 5 Supervisor Sue Novasel told the Tahoe Tribune

El Dorado County Coronavirus statistics. image: johns hopkins university

In response to the swell of non-fulltime residents traveling to Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County Public Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams, on April 3rd, 2020 issued a no-travel Order to reduce the number of visitors and other non-fulltime residents in the basin.

“Visitors whom we enthusiastically welcome during normal times are further impacting an already decreased availability of essential supplies and food, and putting the entire Lake Tahoe population at greater risk of being able to receive proper health care.

It’s time to take this very strong message to those who are not already residing in South Lake Tahoe: if you have no essential function and you are here, please go home; if you have no essential function and you are not here, please stay home.”

– El Dorado County, CA (includes South Lake Tahoe) Public Health Office, 4/3/20

This order comes on the heels of a swarm of people driving up from the Bay Area to visit South Lake Tahoe last weekend despite the state-wide “Stay-at-Home” order issued by Governor Newsom on March 19th, 2020.

San Juan County, CO (Silverton & Red Mt. Pass) issued a similar order they called “Locals Only” while at the same time banning backcountry recreation.

Map outlining location of El Dorado County, CA.

El Dorado County, CA has seen only 36 cases of Coronavirus as of April 18th, 2020 and zero deaths.

Thank you for all being great during this crisis and let’s all please stay home and recreate in our local area.

If you do recreate in the backcountry during this crisis, please follow the guidelines below.


image: el dorado county, ca

Full Order to Stop Non-Essential Travel to South Lake Tahoe

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9 thoughts on “South Lake Tahoe, CA Approves $1,000 Fines for Nonessential Travel to Tahoe

  1. The district 5 supervisor doesn’t not know anything about the preamble to the Constitution. How typical of someone who’s trying to take our rights away and all these liberals coming up from the Bay Area flatlands in “protest” are only protesting when it’s convenient for them. They will go home and then turn in their neighbors for having a family bbq. The people of California need to wake up and take their state back.

  2. I decided to stay away from the California side forever. I like the Nevada side much better.

  3. Someone I know in Reno had a prescription filled at the CVS in South Lake Tahoe specifically so he could go there and “fulfill health needs.” He needed a quick getaway. Clever loophole!!!!

  4. We already do pay more than you in the grocery store and the gas station Hardware store ski shops food

  5. There should be no property tax for the time you are prohibited from being there. Locals can pay all the property tax.

  6. Any state city or county can make up a law until it is challenged in a court of law. Federal judges have already ruled on religion in Kansas and abortion in Tennessee both governors orders were overturned. There is a law suit now in Michigan about not being able to go to their vacation homes. Americans do not lose their rights because of a virus.

  7. You won’t post my comment I think that’s funny stay away keep Tahoe safe STAY In THE Bay we don’t need you here

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