The San Francisco reopening is set to move forward next week with an expected shift to the state’s orange COVID-19 tier that will allow for the reopening of offices, outdoor bars, and live outdoor entertainment and festivals.
Earlier this month, San Francisco moved from the most restrictive purple tier in the state to the second most restrictive, allowing The City to reopen indoor dining.
The Ministry of Health said it plans to adhere to the state’s orange tier regulations as closely as possible, but will impose stricter restrictions.
“The reopening that we have planned for the orange stage is more than it has ever been since the beginning,” Mayor London Breed told Breed on Thursday. “So this is great news and I hope we can continue like this.”
The most notable changes allowed under the orange tier include the opening of offices, outdoor bars, and live entertainment and outdoor festivals, while many other allowances under the orange tier expand the capacity of already reopened businesses and activities.
The city allows outdoor art and music festivals with no seating for up to 50 people. Offices can be reopened for personal work, but only at 25% capacity, although health authorities continue to encourage workers to telework.
But Breed said reopening offices was an important step in revitalizing the inner city.
“We know it will take time, but our inner city is so important to the future of this city,” said Breed. “It supports our economy. It supports our small businesses and we will do everything we can to bring it back safely. “
Bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries can also be reopened for outdoor table service without food.
Restaurants will see relaxed restrictions.
Indoor dining can be expanded to 50% of the capacity and has tables for up to six people from up to three households. Currently, indoor dining only allows 25% capacity with just one household and up to four people per table.
Indoor dining can stay open until 11 p.m., one hour later than currently allowed.
There are no longer any restrictions on the number of households at one table for al fresco dining, but there can only be six people per table.
City officials said San Francisco could move to the least restrictive tier in the state in just three weeks. Breed urged businesses and customers to follow guidelines to keep The City on track and to keep opening more.
She also said The City is continuing to work on the guidelines that will allow people to participate in the Giants’ opening game at Oracle Park on April 9th. Under the orange tier, starting April 1, the state allows reopening of outdoor spectator sports and live entertainment for in-state audiences up to 33% capacity. “
“We know the Giants opening day is coming soon and we are definitely working on it,” said Breed.
There are currently four counties in the Orange Plain, including San Mateo County, which was the first county to move in the Bay Area this week.
There are an average of seven new COVID cases per day in San Francisco. During the pandemic’s worst spike, The City recorded a high seven-day average of 374 cases per day.
“The cases are still low,” said Dr. Susan Philip from the Department of Public Health. “We have to be careful, however, because when we open again, we come closer and closer to each other, more and more possibilities for transmission.”
She noted that more contagious variants of the virus remain a “wild card”.
The expected transition to the orange tier is as cases continue to decline and more people are getting the vaccine for COVID. City data shows that 35% of residents aged 16 and over, or 269,970 received at least one vaccine dose and 126,992 received a second dose.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses to be effective. Johnson & Johnson has started delivering a single vaccine, the Breed was recently vaccinated With. The data does not indicate how many received the J&J vaccine.
Eleven counties remain in the most restrictive purple level of the state, 42 in the red and one in the less restrictive yellow level. The state announces an update of the district’s status every Tuesday. San Francisco’s new guild lines would go into effect on Wednesday.
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