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SFO Outlines Plans, Recommendations for Holiday Travel

Airport shares latest health orders, what to expect, new initiatives

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) outlined plans and recommendations for holiday air travel, including the latest guidance from local and state health orders related to air travel, an overview of measures in place at SFO, new initiatives and available amenities.

Local, state health orders recommend staying home; quarantine after travel

Health orders from San Francisco Bay Area counties and the State of California recommend staying home as the safest method to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The State of California has also issued a travel advisory urging against non-essential out-of-state travel and recommends that people self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.

For San Francisco health orders, visit

For the State of California travel advisory, visit

An airport transformed: what to expect at SFO this holiday season

SFO has transformed many aspects of the airport experience to protect the safety and health of passengers and airport workers. People at SFO should expect the following:

  • Everyone must wear a mask or facial covering properly over the nose and mouth while at SFO. Complimentary masks are available, and Travel Well Ambassadors are on duty to help passengers meet masking requirements.
  • Physical distancing provisions are in place to help travelers maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. SFO has installed over 15,000 physical distancing markers at ticket counters, security checkpoint queues, baggage claim, and seating areas. Elevators are limited to two passengers.
  • SFO has installed hundreds of hand sanitizers throughout the terminals, and the TSA now allows travelers to bring up a container of liquid hand sanitizer, up to 12 ounces in size, in carry-on baggage.
  • In terminal restrooms, SFO has deactivated hand dryers in accordance with current health guidance; disposable paper towels are available for drying.
  • To protect passengers and employees, clear plastic barriers have been installed in locations where face-to-face interactions might take place, such as information booths, airline ticket counters, and TSA podiums.
  • SFO staff continue increased cleaning of facilities with EPA-approved effective germicidal agent that kills all coronaviruses and is outlined in CDC recommendations for cleaning and disinfection.
  • The SFO team employs no-touch cleaning systems, including all-surface equipment and battery-operated disinfectant sprayers, to clean, rinse, and dry surfaces and recover the water used without ever touching a surface.
  • For more information, visit:

More shops and restaurants resume service, but some have yet to reopen

At present, approximately two-thirds of all shops and restaurants are open at SFO. Businesses may have limited hours reflecting reduced flight and passenger activity, and some locations remain closed. For more information, visit

Many airlines have also reopened lounges with modifications to comply with current health orders. Available passenger services include the SFO Medical Clinic, on-airport hotel, travel agency, and USO lounge for military service members and their families.

Tourism to Hawaii reopens with onsite rapid testing for United passengers

SFO and United Airlines have partnered with Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care to offer rapid onsite testing for United passengers flying to Hawaii. The testing, approved by the State of Hawaii, allows passengers who test negative to bypass the 14-day quarantine requirement. United and Hawaiian Airlines also offer a drive-through testing option near SFO, which also meets State of Hawaii requirements. Please contact your airline directly for information on how to schedule testing prior to flying to Hawaii.

SFO tests ultraviolet light technology for disinfection

SFO is exploring the use of disinfection technologies that utilize ultraviolet (UV) light to kill germs. The Airport has installed UV sanitizers on the handrails of four escalators in the International Terminal and will evaluate the effectiveness of this solution for potential expansion in the future.