Shelterr in Place

Grocery stores and other food-selling businesses (like convenience stores and farmers markets) are considered essential services and allowed to stay open. Restaurants and bakeries can offer takeout only.

Monterey County Health Officer Edward Moreno issued a shelter-in-place order on March 17. This is an excerpt of a Q&A issued by the county. To read the complete order, visit

What’s closed?

Dine-in restaurants

Bars and nightclubs

Entertainment venues

Gyms and fitness studios

What can’t I do?

You cannot engage in group activities.

You cannot have dinner parties or invite friends over to hang out.

You cannot go to bars or nightclubs.

You cannot go to a nail or hair salon.

Where does this apply?

This is in effect throughout all of Monterey County, including all cities and unincorporated areas.

Is this mandatory?

It is mandatory. This order is a legal order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a misdemeanor crime not to follow the order. Those who don’t comply can be fined or imprisoned.

It is critical for everyone to follow the order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What if I need to get healthcare?

You can still get your health needs addressed. Essential travel includes exemptions for medical appointments and services, such as dialysis.

Call first. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency.

Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need?

No. For your safety as well as their safety.

Can I still get deliveries from online stores?

Yes. The mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services.

Can I use rideshare or a taxi?

Yes, but only for essential travel.

Can I take public transportation?

Yes, but only for essential travel.

Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis.

Can I go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?

Yes. Drug stores and other medical supply stores can operate.

How will I get food and medicines?

The order specifically allows people to leave their home to buy food, purchase medicine, and purchase other necessary items. It also directs businesses selling those items to remain open and allows employees to keep working.

Should I stock up on food, toilet paper and medicines?

No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items will remain open.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends In Need?

Yes. Be sure that you protect them and you by following social distancing guidelines.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home or other care facility?

Generally, no.

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It is strongly recommended that you do not go to a hospital unless you are seeking emergency medical attention or accompanying a minor who is under 18 or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance.

Please use alternative ways to communicate with loved ones.

What should I do if I’m sick and need to go to the hospital or medical provider? How can I protect others?

If possible, walk or drive yourself to the healthcare. If someone else in your home can drop you off, that is another good option. If you have a surgical mask or N-95 mask, wear it to prevent exposing others. If you don’t have one, use a temporary method such as wrapping a clean scarf around your mouth and nose. Just do the best you can.

What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?

Contact friends, family, or others who can provide support. They are permitted to pick up any of your needs. Call 211 if you do not have anyone help you.

What about childcare and preschool?

Must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer each day.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please call 211, for all non-emergency and non-medical inquiries.

Can I go buy pet food or take my pet to the vet?

Yes. Call you vet first for instructions on how to check in your pet.

I receive mental health treatment; can I still go to their office?

Yes, but perform good hygiene practices and social distancing.

Can I go for a walk in my neighborhood?

Yes, but perform social distancing.

How will the agriculture industry be impacted?

Farming, ranching and livestock businesses which provide food are exempt from this order.

I work in construction, how will this Order impact my job?

This order impacts new construction, which is not allowed. Ongoing construction is exempt.

Can I still go to church, synagogue or mosque?

No. Places of worship have not been exempted as essential activities under the order. Funerals are exempted.

Can I pick up prescriptions?


I own a business, what am I supposed to do?

If you don’t fall within an exemption, besides performing basic minimum functions, you need to close.

Is there relief for small business?

There is effort on the federal level to grant relief to small businesses. Read more

How do I prove that I am allowed to be outside?

The order contemplates that citizens will adhere to their civic duty and follow the order for the greater good of the community and comply with the order. At this time, there is no requirement of proof that you are allowed to be outside your residence.

What if I work in a different county?

Travel to and from Monterey County is allowed for purposes of performing essential life functions.

CAn My Wedding go on during the order?


Can I leave to do laundry?

Yes, you can go to a laundromat mat and other laundry service providers.

I am homeless, how can I comply with the order?

If you don’t have a place of residence, it is strongly encouraged you find shelter.

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