Reopening San Francisco: Indoor shopping, social gatherings resume with modifications

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — In San Francisco, the city is moving to its next phase of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Phase 2B, more businesses will reopen and social activities will resume with required safety protocols set in place.

This includes retail businesses allowing customers shop inside their stores with safety modifications and outdoor gatherings of 12 people or fewer.

San Francisco has continued to make progress slowing down the spread of COVID-19 by meeting several key health indicators and aligning with state guidance as it gradually allows more activities.

“San Francisco retail businesses and residents have been waiting for a while to get to this next phase, and we’re committed to continuing to make progress on reopening so people can get back to work and regain some sense of normalcy in their lives,” Mayor London Breed said.

“As we do reopen, we want to make sure that we do so carefully and safely, and that we’re ready to adjust if we see a spike in cases. Our success depends on each person doing their part, taking precautions and being mindful. As we go out in our neighborhood to visit and support local businesses, it’s important that we continue following all the public health requirements, which will help keep us all safe and healthy.”

Last week, the city allowed restaurants to offer outdoor dining following the success of curbside retail and some outdoor activities that were allowed in mid-May.

The city plans to allow additional social and business activities in the coming weeks if key health indicators are continued to be met — along with residents and businesses continuing to follow safety guidelines that are critical to protect the public.

“San Francisco has been very effective in slowing the spread of the virus. Reopening combines hope and optimism with the awareness that the virus is still here, and cases will likely increase as people start to move about the city more,” Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said.

San Francisco’s stay-at-home order remains in effect as it is gradually being modified to allow for a safer reopening phase.

The city entered Phase 2A of its reopening plan on Jun. 1 and on Jun. 12 allowed outdoor dining with safety protocols to begin.

Free permits for businesses to occupy the sidewalk and other public property to operate their business will be offered through the Shared Spaces program.

Activities and businesses allowed to resume starting Monday as part of San Francisco’s reopening Phase 2B:

  • Indoor retail with 50 percent capacity limits (enclosed malls with approved plan)
  • All curbside retail with direct street access with no limit on the number of on-site personnel, subject to social distancing, and with direct street access (enclosed malls with approved plan)
  • All manufacturing, warehouse and logistics with no limit on the number of on-site personnel, subject to social distancing
  • Non-emergency medical appointments
  • All private indoor household services like cooks and house cleaners
  • Outdoor fitness classes (up to 12 people) with social distancing
  • Professional sports games, tournaments and other entertainment for broadcast with no in-person spectators. Events with more than 12 people must have an approved plan.
  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies, outdoors only (up to 12 people), with face coverings and social distancing
  • Other small gatherings, outdoors only (up to 12 people), with face coverings and social distancing
  • Some offices. Anyone who can telework must continue to do so, but individuals necessary for operations who cannot work remotely may come into the office as long as certain safety rules are followed. These include wearing a face covering and limiting the number of people who can be in the office at one time.
  • Summer camps with stable groups of up to 12.
  • Outdoor dining including restaurants and bars serving meals with a limit of six customers per table unless all are members of the same household (effective Jun. 12)
  • Dog walking of multiple dogs (effective Jun. 8)

The city’s reopening plan is aligned with state guidelines and is based on a San Francisco-specific risk model to be able to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public.

“The virus spreads very quickly and can rapidly overwhelm communities and health care systems. While we hope that won’t happen in San Francisco, that is why we must be vigilant and flexible as we enter this new phase. Residents must continue to take precautions and sustain the habits that have gotten us where we are today,” Dr. Colfax said.

“Everyone needs to weigh their own risk and the risk to their family, household members and people they interact with. As we reopen, think through how to do any activity you are contemplating in the safest way possible. You can still save lives.” 

As the city reopens it will focus on safety and equity as the Department of Public Health will continue to track the impact of the virus on the community and health system to inform public policy.

As San Francisco continues to reopen, the city warns residents of increases in cases and hosptializations of COVID-19.

The city will address the the disparities already identified for low-wage workers, people who must leave home to work and workers who live in crowded conditions.

San Francisco’s health indicators are an important tool to monitor the level of COVID-19 in the community. The health indicators monitor cases, hospital systems, testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment.

Data from the city’s health indicators will be posted on the San Francisco COVID-19 Data Tracker on Jun. 16 to keep residents informed.

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