Delay in San Francisco’s reopening plan retains indoor eating at 25% capability, a minimum of for now
San Francisco restaurants hoping to expand their indoor dining service over the next month will have to postpone those plans after Mayor London Breed announced on Friday that it would temporarily stop expanding some activities.
For restaurants, this means dining indoors will continue at 25% capacity instead of the planned 50% capacity, which San Francisco’s reopening schedule says is expected to begin on November 3rd.
“During our response to COVID-19, San Francisco has demonstrated our willingness to make difficult decisions and to reopen carefully and deliberately. Given what we see in our numbers here, as well as across the country and around the world, we want to make sure we continue our cautious and deliberate approach. So we decided to take a break before moving on to another reopening. “Mayor Breed said in a statement.
The precautionary measure comes because COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations have increased from 3.14 cases per 100,000 to 4.17 cases per 100,000 in the past two weeks in San Francisco. San Francisco recently had 21 COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to a statement from the mayor’s office, but “that number has increased again to 37 people.”
“That’s an increase of 25%,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, SF Health Director, on Friday during the announcement.
San Francisco restaurants began indoor dining service late last month after the city shifted from the more restrictive red to the orange layer in California’s color-coded reopening guide. Since then, Wayfare Tavern, Spruce and many other restaurants have added indoor service. Tadich Grill recently announced that it would reopen on November 9th after months of closure, but Mike Buich expressed his frustration after learning of the announcement from Mayor Breed.
“We try to be optimistic, but it becomes increasingly difficult not to be disappointed and frustrated when we decide to cut the 50 percent indoor dining capacity just days before announcing it is allowed,” said Buich to SFGATE by email. “Not only does it require the financial resources to try to reopen a business after more than seven months of closure, it also takes operational planning. And the combination of those two things is harder to activate than just being on the go.” Button when we finally get the green light. “
Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said in a statement that while it was disappointing to learn that restaurants were not 50% busy, she understood the need to take a break to “get cases and hospital stays under control hold . ”
“This is not the news we were hoping for, but we are grateful that the indoor dining continues at 25% capacity, as is the outdoor dining, all of which are in line with our SF Department of Public Health guidelines “said Thomas. “We appreciate the hard work of the mayor, the Department of Health and our community to keep our city from being exposed to the waves and reopening traces that we are witnessing in many parts of the country and internationally.”