Amtrak has announced that all Christmas holiday travel on its Surfliner route along the Southern California coast will require reservations, beginning Dec. 23 and continuing through Dec. 28.
The national train company is limiting ticket sales during the Christmas season to manage capacity and ensure distance between passengers onboard, in a precautionary measure to limit the surging spread of COVID-19.
The 351-mile Pacific Surfliner route travels through 27 stations, with stops in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.
“The Pacific Surfliner remains dedicated to the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the continued pandemic,” Amtrak said in a statement.
Customers are encouraged to travel only for essential purposes due to the regional stay-at-home order, which went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 6 when intensive care unit (ICU) bed availability dropped below 15 percent in the region.
The order will remain in effect for three weeks, but will be lifted only when the region’s ICU bed availability rises above 15 percent. The determination will be made on a weekly basis after the initial mandate expires.
The counties on the Pacific Surfliner route are all part of the 11-county Southern California region. The combined ICU bed availability throughout the region is used to determine the area’s status. As of Dec. 11, ICU bed availability in the region was 6.2 percent.