Posted: 12/01/2020 | by Maria

How to Stay Safe and be a Good Traveler during COVID-19 in Lancaster, PA

It’s getting easier to travel during COVID-19, especially if you’re looking for a short road trip that’s within an-hour’s drive from Philadelphia; 1.5-hours from Baltimore, Maryland; or less than 3-hours from New York City. Plus, these one-tank getaways are a budget-savvy way to experience a change of scenery – and enjoy the wide-open spaces and rolling countryside that make up Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. Did you know we have more than 5,600 farms? We’re ranked the top county across the country for preserved farmland. So, keeping 6-ft of social distancing here, is not a problem, it’s more like a given.

And yet, there’s more we need travelers to keep in mind as they wander our fields, dine at our local restaurants, and visit our many craft breweries and specialty shops, including:

Wear a Mask

The state of Pennsylvania requires everyone above the age of 2 to wear a mask while in public to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19. A few exceptions have been made for those with medical conditions and such. Click here to view the latest information on the masking order.

Expect Temperature Checks

Some businesses and attractions may require a contactless temperature check to ensure the safety of others. While this is not a frequent course of action, it’s important to follow the practices that have been set in motion by each establishment. Plus, there’s something comforting in knowing everyone else around you has their temperature in check too.

Keep Your Distance

Please stay 6-ft away from people who are not part of your quarantine group. This should be very easy to do across our many farms and picturesque Amish countryside. You’ll likely need to make more of a concerted effort in Downtown Lancaster. This seven square mile area features art, museums, historical attractions, restaurants and cafes, theatres, shops, and boutiques. Downtown Lancaster is a destination in and of itself, frequented by foodies in search of the latest innovative cuisine – served al fresco, weather-permitting. The independent boutiques and shops have earned a reputation among fashionistas and hobbyists. Its allure means you’ll want to plot your course as you mingle with your group and meander.

Practice Patience

All of our areas offer something for someone though some are more popular with groups than others. Please be prepared to exercise patience. Businesses are limiting the numbers of people within their establishments to maximize safety, which could impact your time waiting to enter a store, secure a table, or pay for your purchase. In addition, many businesses are unable to add staff, for the same reasons they’re unable to accommodate more customers. Additionally, restaurants and bars are only allowed to operate at a reduced occupancy. We ask for your patience as we continue to navigate this pandemic in the most responsible way possible.

Be on Time

If you’re visiting an attraction for which you have a reserved time slot, please plan to arrive a few minutes early to allow any needed time for parking and/or making your way to the indicated starting point. These businesses need your help to stay and track. It’s important that they keep on schedule to deliver a consistent experience and to minimize wait time for all guests.

Dine Smartly

There are some new Pennsylvania-specific rules when it comes to dining as a result of the Coronavirus that travelers should know about. The state now requires patrons who want to dine-in and enjoy an alcoholic beverage to order a meal with their drink. This is not a rule created by the restaurant or bar, this is a state mandate from our Governor in an effort to further curb the virus. Also, restaurants and bars are only allowed to operate at a reduced occupancy.

Avoid Cash

Many Lancaster businesses are trying to be as touchless as possible in response to COVID-19, as some experts believe the virus could latch onto currency similar to how it may survive on other surfaces. As a result, digital wallets, contactless payments, and credit cards are more widely used across our county. Please plan appropriately before you head out.

Tip Generously

While tipping is customary, please consider adding 5 to 10-percent more to your usual tip as a way to support our businesses. This pandemic has affected us all and while our many small businesses are resilient, every little bit helps, especially until business as usual is well, usual.

Stay Informed

Please read the small print, your email confirmations, and other communications more closely. A lot has changed for businesses and a lot continues to change. Information you receive directly from different establishments will be the most pertinent. The easiest way to stay up-to-date on how things might affect you will be through the entities that know you are planning a visit.

Stay Home if Sick

We’d love for you to come to Lancaster, but if you’re not feeling well, please stay home and come once you have fully recovered. We’ll still be here and you’ll be able to better enjoy all we have to offer then, without risking the well-being of others.

Ready to plan your visit? As you know, our many local attractions, restaurants, shops and lodging properties have been working around the clock to ensure that their properties are a safe getaway for you. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information, along with some of the steps they’re taking to ensure safety and adherence to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We make every effort to keep our lists current but as part of your planning during this time, please call or check the website and social media of these entities for their most current operational information.