Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @nelliebradfordphotography

Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @nelliebradfordphotography

How to Travel Safely in Georgia

We know that traveling right now comes with a new set of challenges. You want a change of scenery, but you have a lot of questions before you hit the road. What’s open in Georgia? What can you do when you get here? What do you need to bring with you to be prepared? How can you stay safe while you travel? We’ll answer those questions below and direct you to the resources you need to make fully informed decisions about your next trip in Georgia.

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by @capturecalliope
Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by @capturecalliope

What’s open, and what can you do when you get here?

Georgia’s shelter in place orders have expired, but businesses must operate with the state’s social distancing, sanitation guidelines, and operational requirements to keep customers and employees safe.

Modified operating hours and practices

You might find that some businesses have changed their regular operating hours and practices. Restaurants might offer only takeout or outside dining. Stores might not be open every day or might have reduced their hours. You will probably need to make a reservation or buy tickets online before visiting an attraction. Be sure to check the website or social media for the business before you visit.

Local travel advisories

Many of Georgia’s cities and counties are keeping tabs on the businesses and attractions in their communities and sharing the most current information on their websites. We’ve compiled a list of those sites on the Explore Georgia Local Travel Advisories page. Check those pages as you plan your trip to see how your destination is adjusting its practices. Also, because things can change daily, check your destination’s social media pages for updates.

Georgia State Parks

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites are a great place to be outdoors, safely. But, please know that some of the more popular parks are experiencing large crowds, especially on weekends. To ensure social distancing and protect the health of the public and employees, some parks may need to temporarily limit access or close a park. And, some amenities may be closed. For the most updated information, visit the Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites COVID-19 page.

Georgia Visitor Information Centers

Georgia’s nine Visitor Information Centers (VICs) are reopening in phases. Restroom facilities at the VICs will remain open daily. The Georgia Department of Transportation has performed a deep clean of all VIC restroom facilities and will continue with enhanced cleanings, maintaining all required health and hygiene standards. More information about the VICs can be found on the Explore Georgia website.

Georgia Visitor Information Center in Augusta, Georgia
Georgia Visitor Information Center in Augusta, Georgia

What do you need to bring with you to be prepared?

Face coverings

All Georgians and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in public when social distancing isn’t possible. So, be sure to bring along cloth face coverings for you and your family. Help protect yourself. Help protect others. And help protect the employees of your favorite Georgia businesses. Wearing a mask helps keep us all safe. Learn more about the Georgia Safety Promise.

Hand sanitizer

You’ll also need to wash your hands regularly and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), particularly after you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens. When you can’t use soap and water, you should use hand sanitizer. Bring some along on your trip.

Chickamauga, Georgia. Photo by @hogjowlroad
Chickamauga, Georgia. Photo by @hogjowlroad

How can you stay safe while you travel?

Social distancing

Practicing social distancing by staying at least six feet from people not in your household is one of the best ways you can stay safe as you travel in Georgia. You’ll find that businesses have marked places to stand to maintain your distance while visiting. When in doubt, spread out.

Avoid touching your face

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. And, review the CDC’s guidance for daily life and going out that recommends questions to ask when deciding to go out, as well as practices for visiting beaches and pools, running errands, using transportation, and more.

Georgia Safety Promise

You can commit to the Georgia Safety Promise, a statewide campaign from the Governor’s Office and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) that encourages businesses and the public to agree to simple, but critical, measures that will keep Georgians safe from COVID-19, minimize spread of the virus, and keep Georgia open for business. Making the Georgia Safety Promise means businesses have committed to the latest guidelines from the Governor’s office, including:

  • Promoting social distancing
  • Wearing face coverings
  • Cleaning surfaces
  • Washing and sanitizing hands
Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Photo by @natebowery
Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Photo by @natebowery

Where will you go next in Georgia?

Travel FAQs

If you decide to travel, please protect yourself and others from COVID-19. For more answers to questions about travel restrictions and openings, visit the Explore Georgia COVID-19 FAQ page.

Georgia travel inspiration

As you’re planning a trip, the 2020 Georgia Travel Guide has trip ideas, travel resources, and more information about exploring Georgia. Subscribe to receive Explore Georgia newsletters in your inbox, and follow @exploregeorgia on social media for more travel inspiration.

We want you to experience all of the amazing places and things to do in Georgia, but your health and safety is paramount. Consider your options, stay safe, and we look forward to your visit as soon as you are ready.

Published: July 2020