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San Juan County Council bans all non-essential visitors and travel

A ferry sailing from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands. (MyNorthwest file photo)

The San Juan County Council has asked all visitors and non-essential workers to postpone their travel, prohibiting all non-essential travel to the islands at this time.

“The San Juan Islands community loves our visitors but we urge you to postpone your travels here. In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), County officials are prohibiting non-essential travel to the San Juan Islands.”

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The press release from the island asks visitors to help the county in preventing an overload of the “limited rural” health care system by staying home.

If you want to comply with Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and experience the islands, you can watch videos posted here.

“When this is all over, we look forward to welcoming you back to the San Juan Islands.”

Last Friday, Gov. Inslee urged Washingtonians to stay home even during the warmer weather. He was joined by the mayors of Yakima and Ocean Shores, who echoed this sentiment, asking people to postpone their visits.

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Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler said, “We love you, but please don’t come visit us now.”

The mayor of Yakima, Patricia Byers, requested people support the local wine industry by visiting once it’s safe to do so.

“We love our tourists, but this is not the time to come,” Byers said. “We’re asking you not to do that right now to help protect our families and our communities.”

The same message was heard from the San Juan Economic Development Council and Dishman Hills Conservancy in Spokane: Now is not the time to visit.

Full travel restrictions put in place by the San Juan County Council may be found here.

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