Tahoe Police are Handing Out $1,000 Fines for Non-Essential Visitors

Photo by Emily Karakis

Both Truckee and South Lake Tahoe officials have pleaded with the public to stay away from the area in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, stating they don’t have the healthcare services needed to deal with a localized outbreak. Now, police are handing out $1,000 fines for people caught performing non-essential travel in the area.

In early April, El Dorado County issued a “no-travel Order” to reduce the number of visitors and other non-fulltime residents in the Tahoe. The order pertained to anyone visiting and people attempting to shelter-in-place in their vacation homes in the Tahoe area.

With continued out-of-town visitors coming through the Tahoe area, local police are handing out $1,000 fines to any non-essential travel in the area, and have handed out three thus far. Enforcement officials will be able to hand out the fines until the end of the stay-at-home order, which remains in place until further notice.

Not only has Tahoe seen a swell of visitors looking to practice social distance in the beautiful outdoors of the Tahoe area, but out-of-town residents have chosen to shelter-in-place in their Tahoe vacation homes. Those people could also be issued the fine.

Photo by Parker Ulry

All Tahoe areas have reported a high number of out-of-town visitors.

Tahoe Forest Hospital CEO Harry Weis says the Truckee healthcare system is primed to be overcrowded with a large number of Coronavirus patients with part-time residents sheltering-in-place in the area. Weis reported there have been nearly 50 positive tests in the Truckee area, about 9 times the amount of positive tests per capita in California.

“Visitors whom we enthusiastically welcome during normal times are further impacting an already decreased availability of essential supplies and food, and putting the entire Lake Tahoe population at greater risk of being able to receive proper health care,” said Dr. Nancy Williams, who issued the South Lake Tahoe no-travel order.

While Tahoe might seem like a great place to practice social distancing, it may cost you $1,000.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. Edward Miller: Very misleading headline.
    First of all, there are no “Tahoe Police”. Lake Tahoe is made up of numerous communities in two states and four counties. Each is a separate jurisdiction. No one agency covers the entire lake or is called “Tahoe Police”.
    The $1000 fines are only in effect in the incorporated City of South Lake Tahoe, by city police. The unincorporated areas of El Dorado County are under the jurisdiction of the County Sheriff’s Dept, which is not enforcing with the exception of short-term rentals. The other counties (Placer County, CA and Washoe County, NV), are served by their respective sheriff’s offices. Carson City Nevada has a tiny area extending into the east shore of the lake.
    Truckee (20 miles from Lake Tahoe) is incorporated as a “Town” in Nevada County and has a Police Department.
    It can be confusing, but media should be able to report it accurately.

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