As anticipated, San Francisco officially entered the most restrictive purple tier in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, requiring capacity reductions and additional business closures beginning Sunday at noon. City residents will also be under a curfew order effective Monday night.
According to state guidelines, the purple tier designation prohibits indoor operation of gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums and places of worship. Indoor retail capacity will be reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent. Restaurants can continue to serve diners outdoors only.
Outdoor ferris wheels and carousels will be shut down, but some outdoor family entertainment venues, such as playgrounds, batting cages and golf courses can remain open at 25 percent capacity with a maximum of up to 25 people.
Standalone grocery stores can allow 50 percent customer capacity, but pharmacy and hardware stores must decrease to 25 percent.
Hair salons, barbershops and personal care services can still operate indoors with modifications.
The City will also have to abide by the state’s “curfew” where non-essential businesses have to close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. During those hours, residents are required to stay home unless they working in essential positions or are going to the grocery store, pharmacy, picking up food, seeking medical attention or walking dogs.
The curfew takes effect Monday at 10 p.m and is expected to last until Dec. 21, city officials said.
Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax has been warning the public that San Francisco was headed toward the most restrictive and that it was just a matter of when, not if.
November brought The City a Covid-19 case surge, causing a drastic backslide from the least restrictive tier just last month. Data from the Department of Public Health shows The City hit a single-day record of 181 new cases on Nov. 18.
Colfax said in a statement Saturday:
“We must take decisive action now — as a City and as individuals — to stay ahead of this virus. The assignment by the state to the most restrictive tier is indicative of how widespread this virus is. We need everyone to be diligent or further roll backs of activities may be necessary.”
The City’s case rate per 100,000 residents continues to steadily rise steadily. As of Nov. 20, public health data shows the case rate is 15.7 per 100,000 residents with a 137 cases per day on a seven-day average.
San Mateo County has also entered the state’s purple tier and announced new indoor restrictions as well. Marin County is only Bay Area county that remains in the red tier and is one of just seven statewide not subjected to the most restrictive guidelines, which now apply to about 99 percent of the population.
Mayor London Breed said in a statement:
“This is about protecting ourselves, our families, and our community, and getting us to a better place so we can get people back to work and support our small businesses. Every single person needs to do what they can over the next few weeks. The decisions you make today will impact where we are tomorrow. Do not travel, stay with the people in your household, and wear your masks.”
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation, City Hall, and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.