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SF lays out roadmap to reopen businesses, orders face coverings outdoors

San Francisco Thursday released a reopening timeline by industry accompanied by a more strict order pertaining to face coverings. 

Dozens of counties across California, including three in the Bay Area, have moved into further stages of the state’s reopening guidance, The City has chosen to split the second phase into three parts that span June and July.

Childcare services, botanical gardens, outdoor museums and historical sites as well as outdoor curbside retail services, like shoe repair services, may reopen June 1.

Most indoor retail operations, outdoor dining and religious services and places of worship can reopen with forthcoming modifications from public health officials as of June 15. 

The City announced Tuesday a new permitting program allowing businesses to request extra sidewalk or street space for outdoor dining and retail uses.

Pixnio The city of San Francisco, Calif. will soon permit some retailers and restaurants to use sidewalk, street and open spaces to extend outdoor serving space during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professional sports games and entertainment venues can open doors June 15, but without spectators. Summer camps, outdoor exercising and non-emergency appointments may also resume June 15.

Indoor dining with modifications will be permitted until July 13. Professional haircuts will also have to wait until July 13.

In mid-August, schools will be allowed to reopen classrooms to students with modifications, but no firm date has been set. Gyms, bars, nail salons, massage and tattoo parlors, swimming pools, playgrounds and indoor museums will also be back in business in that same August timeframe.

It has not yet been determined when live audience sporting events, concerts, nightclubs, festivals and hotels for leisure can resume.

Mayor London Breed said Thursday at a press conference that the plan is subject to change based on state guidelines and monitoring of The City’s Covid-19 data.

She added that San Francisco is in good place right now due to the number of residents who continue to follow public health order guidelines.

Ching Wong A woman wearing a mask waits outside a grocery store on Leavenworth Street amid the extension of coronavirus shelter orders in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Ching Wong/

Breed said:

“The fact that we have a significant number of people in this city complying with this order is the only reason why we are at this place right now where we can really start having a conversation around what San Francisco will look like when we begin to open.”

Breed also asked that employees who are able to telecommute continue to do so.

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, who leads The City’s Economic Recovery Task Force, said:

“When we think about today’s message and the importance of creating this roadmap, it truly is creating an opportunity for people to be able to plan and to prepare for what that future looks like.”

Dr. Grant Colfax, Department of Public Health director, said The City and the Bay Area region continue to watch five indicators that guide reopening decisions.

The indicators focus on the number of new Covid-19 cases, the number of hospitalizations and hospital capacity for patients infected with the virus, whether testing is increasing, stable supply of personal protective equipment at hospitals and if there is an increased capacity for contact tracing.

Breed added that the stay-at-home order has no expiration date and is indefinite.

photographer Three pedestrians cross Stockton Street in Chinatown amid the extension of coronavirus shelter orders in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Ching Wong/

Meanwhile, Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón issued a revised public health order for use of face coverings.

City officials previously required people wear face coverings when inside essential businesses, public transit, public facilities and when working inside essential businesses.

Effective Friday, the new order mandates residents generally wear face coverings when residents are outside their homes.

Health officials said face coverings or masks will help prevent droplets from a cough or sneeze from spreading to other people. Officials do not recommend the public wear masks with valves as they allow droplets to escape when a person exhales.

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