COVID-19 alerts updated on September 9, 2021, to include helpful tips for indoor dining

The Willamette Valley heart logo

As of June 30, 2021, most COVID-19 restrictions and mandates have been lifted throughout Oregon. We are excited to welcome visitors back to the Willamette Valley and want to share a few tips, resources, and ideas for making the most of your next visit. And to ensure the health and safety of our region, we’re asking that any visit to the Willamette Valley be planned with flexibility, caution, and respect for our communities.

As part of that effort, we encourage visitors to support small businesses; have patience as restaurants, shops, and tasting rooms get up to speed; and follow all business-specific guidelines that may remain in place. Together, we can ensure a Responsible Reopening and foster a safe environment for all. 

Given the fluid nature of the situation, these resources will be helpful for having the best possible visit and explaining what it might mean for your next trip

What to Know Before Planning Your Next Visit to the Willamette Valley

Many of the state-mandated restrictions and requirements associated with COVID-19 have been lifted. (That said, mandates on face coverings were reinstated in August 2021, to combat the spread of the Delta variant.) Here’s what’s new—and what to expect on your next visit:

Face coverings: As of Friday, August 27, 2021, face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces, as well as in outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible (including large events); this applies to all adults and children older than 5—and includes children older than 2 on public transit. Exemptions apply for common-sense activities where face coverings would be impractical or impossible—such as while eating or drinking, swimming, or playing organized, competitive sports. Learn more about indoor face covering requirements, and learn more about outdoor face covering requirements here.

Proof of vaccination: Some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test for eating or drinking indoors. Be sure to bring your vaccination card (or a photo of your vaccination card on your mobile device), along with photo ID, and have that easily accessible if you’d like to sit indoors at certain establishments.

Hours: Businesses are no longer required to close by a certain hour and may choose to keep hours within previously established rules that predate the COVID-19 pandemic; however, businesses may choose to retain limited hours as they rehire staff and gradually resume normal operations.

Capacity limits: Oregon will no longer require businesses to maintain certain capacity limits (usually 25-50%), whether in restaurants, tasting rooms, museums, shopping centers, or other venues. That said, businesses may choose to retain (and enforce) capacity limits moving forward—especially as they staff up in the coming weeks and months. Call ahead to see if such limits remain in place and, if so, whether reservations are accepted to ensure you can snag a seat.

Reservations: The vast majority of wineries and tasting rooms have required reservations in recent months—and many will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Head online, or call ahead, to snag a reservation and ensure 

Patience: We’re all excited to get back out and enjoy the award-winning wineries, restaurants, museums, and cultural attractions that have made the Willamette Valley such a popular destination—but we ask that you please exercise patience on your next visit. Businesses all over the region are hiring, and many remain short-staffed as they rebuild their workforce—so they may keep shortened hours, retain capacity limits, and offer limited services as they navigate the post-COVID world. Please be understanding of the fluid situation, give yourself plenty of time, and be patient with new staff members as they work to serve you.

Supporting the Willamette Valley

A line of storefronts at dusk

As restrictions are lifted and businesses staff up, it’s never been more important—or easier—to support your favorite Willamette Valley businesses. Here are a few ideas for showing some love to local businesses.

Purchase a gift card: Whether visiting next week or next year, purchase a gift card to use on your next trip. The additional revenue can help businesses cover costs and bolster their staff in the meantime.

Spread the love: Leave a good review of your favorite businesses on Facebook, Yelp, Tripadvisor, or another platform from a past experience to show support.

Make reservations: Many restaurants and tasting rooms are recommending or requiring reservations; be mindful of this when making plans, and be sure to cancel a reservation with as much notice as possible if you can’t make your appointed time.

Be accommodating: Some businesses may choose to remain closed until COVID-19 cases decline even further, and others may offer limited services (such as takeout- or delivery-only) to maximize safety or compensate for smaller staffing; give yourself plenty of time and flexibility on your next trip to ensure a smooth experience for all.

Up-to-date Information and Resources

Two women wearing masks walk down a path at a park, visitors are seated in the grass behind them.

The following resources offer the most up-to-date information possible and can help guide decisions on travel, gatherings, and more.

With this evolving situation, we encourage the traveling public to follow any guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) when making travel plans.

Enjoying a Safe Outdoor Experience

And as parks and public spaces begin to open up, keep in mind a few tips for a safer outdoor experience (via the Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation):