SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – San Francisco is set to expand reopening guidelines Thursday, paving the way for the return of live indoor events such as concerts and conferences.

The city agreed to terms for indoor events last month, and with COVID-19 cases stabilizing at around an average of 30 to 40 new cases per day, it has met conditions to allow for more activities to resume.

“San Francisco is continuing to reopen and this latest round of activities and events that can start to resume is an exciting step for our city,” said Mayor London Breed in a statement Wednesday. “Throughout our response to COVID-19 and our reopening efforts, we’ve focused on moving forward in a way that protects public health, and we’re going to need everyone to keep doing their part to keep our community safe. Remember to keep wearing your mask, continue to keep your distance from others, and get tested if you feel sick. We are still in a pandemic, and we can’t let our guard down – but that doesn’t mean we can’t still find ways to adapt to our new normal, have fun, and enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer.” 

Under the new guidelines, indoor ticketed and seated events and performances (up to 35% capacity) with an approved Health and Safety Plan will be allowed to go forward as long as all participants keep their masks on except when eating or drinking in designated concessions areas away from their seats, distancing requirements can be met, and participants show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before they enter the venue.

Venues may create vaccinated-only sections with relaxed distancing requirements, subject to specified criteria and an approved health and safety plan. For venues operating at 15% capacity or less, with no more than 200 people, and that do not have any vaccinated-only sections, an approved Health and Safety Plan and proof of vaccination or a negative test will not be required.  

Private events such as meetings, conventions, and receptions may also resume indoors up to 150 participants with assigned seating and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Such events may resume outdoors following the same guidelines for up to 300 people, or up to 100 people without proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.

“Resuming indoor meetings, receptions, and events are key to San Francisco’s economic foundation,” said Anne Taupier, Acting Director of Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “These activities drive the meetings, celebrations, conferences, and conventions that generate hundreds of millions of dollars for our economy and are essential business activities for our hotels, restaurants, and other large and small venues. This is a major step for the industries and workers who have suffered most significantly over the past year. With our health indicators as low and as stable as they are OEWD applauds the City’s decision to expand the activities within the orange tier to maximize economic activity with appropriate safety protocols.” 

Outdoor events will be able to hold 50% capacity and they can also create vaccinated-only sections like indoor events. Evens with over 1,000 people will have to get a safety plan approved by the city and events with over 4,000 people must require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

Nearly 60% of San Francisco’s population has received the first dose of vaccine, as have over 84% of the City’s residents over 65. San Franciscans aged 16+ are now eligible to get the vaccine.