County of Marin - News Releases - Short Term Rental Health Order

For Immediate Release
April 09, 2020

Marin Issues Restrictions For Short-Term Rentals

New order halts vacation rentals during COVID crisis; limits use to response needs

San Rafael, CA – While Marin County residents continue to abide by the stay-at-home order and help flatten the curve, a stream of vacationers and visitors continue to occupy short-term rentals throughout the county. This increases the chance for community transmission of COVID-19 and is considered non-essential travel.

After substantial guidance from the Marin Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health, a new health order restricting the use of short-term lodging facilities will be in effect from 11:59 p.m. on April 9, 2020, through May 3, 2020.

The order is based on evidence of increasing occurrence of COVID-19 within Marin County and throughout the Bay Area and scientific evidence and best practices regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases generally and COVID-19 specifically. 

Traditional operation of short-term lodging facilities, which rely on a rotating clientele often from outside the county, impair efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Short-term lodging facilities are defined as vacation rentals, short-term rentals, timeshares, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and other lodging facilities rented for 30 days or less.

Short-term lodging facilities within Marin are directed to cease all operations and services except as necessary to provide:

  • Lodging for the county’s homeless population;
  • Lodging for county residents who have been displaced and cannot return to their residence because there is a person residing at their residence that must isolate or quarantine or is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19;
  • Lodging for county residents who need to isolate or quarantine;
  • Lodging to support health care operations, essential infrastructure, essential businesses, and essential governmental functions as defined in the March 31 order (e.g., lodging for traveling nurses or government contractors);
  • Lodging for county residents facing immediate displacement from their primary residence due to safety, sanitation, or habitability issues (i.e., inhabitable living conditions, violence, or threats of violence);
  • Minimum basic operations as defined in the March 31 order.

“We all have a responsibility to do our part to flatten the curve,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer for Marin County. “Travelling to or within Marin for vacation is non-essential and puts our vulnerable populations are risk.”

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UPDATE -- APRIL 29, 2020: This Public Health Order was extended through May 31, 2020.  View New Order.


Laine Hendricks
Public Information Officer
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7496
Email: Laine Hendricks
County Administrator website