SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) – With new cases of COVID-19, San Francisco health officials announced the city would move into the state’s Red Tier, bringing indoor dining to difficult restaurants for the first time in months can be.
At a press conference on Tuesday Mayor London Breed described the reopening as “the start of a great time for San Francisco”.
TO UPDATE: San Francisco Bar, restaurant owner cautiously optimistic about switch to Red Tier
“We’re here, we’re in the red,” said Breed. “Now I know it doesn’t sound that great to be in the red, but it’s great compared to where we’ve been … it means this is just the beginning. This is the beginning of a new day for San Francisco. “
She said the city would move into the even milder Orange Tier within the next three weeks. Breed also promised that San Francisco’s iconic cable cars would be back in service before the end of the year.
With a few exceptions, the San Francisco reopenings are in line with state-approved activities. Napa County and Santa Clara County also announced Tuesday that they would be moving into the Red Tier.
In addition, San Francisco will now allow groups of up to six people from three households to dine al fresco together, and the city lifted the 10 p.m. curfew.
Businesses can start reopening interiors at 8 a.m. Several restaurants, including Waterbar and EPIC Steak in the San Francisco Embarcadero, have already announced that they will be open for indoor dining on Wednesday.
In the Red Tier districts, indoor dining rooms and cinemas may reopen with a capacity of 25% or up to 100 people, whichever is lower. Gyms, dance and yoga studios can be used up to 10%. Museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoor activities with a capacity of 25%.
The last time the city moved into the Red Plain was in autumn. Then came the surge in new cases after Thanksgiving, forcing many reopened businesses to stop operating indoors in December, January and February.
“Almost a year after setting up our shelter, we have seen our worst surge since the beginning of the pandemic thanks to our collective action and commitment to health policy compliance,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s health director. “We know how to slow the spread and save lives.”
The move to the Red Tier comes because the CDC is asking states not to reopen. The latest health data in San Francisco has allowed the county to move into the less restrictive category, but nationwide the clear downward trend in case rates and COVID deaths has plateaued in recent weeks.
This is causing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a warning so as not to relax the restrictions just yet.
The concern is another increase. Health experts warn states not to relax restrictions too much, as cases could recur due to variants, undoing the gains made.
“San Francisco was the first major city to shut down, and we’ve been extremely conservative in every decision we make,” said Breed.
Scientists say one of the COVID-19 variants, B.1.1.7. is about 50% transferable.
“Nationally, cases have started to rise slightly. So we need to double the preventive measures, ”Colfax admitted. “There are more and more variants in our region.”
Outdoor gatherings can resume after 10:00 PM. For meals indoors, the tables are limited to a household with a maximum of 4 people. When dining al fresco in San Francisco, 6 people from 3 households are allowed in one group.
“Be aware that there will be different restrictions indoors and outdoors,” said Laurie Thomas of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.
“We have to balance the risk of reopening and the fact that we’ve been in it for a year. I think we are in a place where we can safely conduct some of these activities, ”said Colfax.
Several boroughs in the San Francisco Bay Area passed strict home stay orders almost a year ago ahead of a statewide shutdown. Public health officials have been largely more cautious about reopening the economy than their peers in Southern California and other states.
Operations in San Francisco shut down in early December after several Bay Area counties were pre-emptively lockdowns as the positivity rate spiked and the case rate spiked. Outdoor restaurants, outdoor museums, and some indoor and outdoor personal services reopened in late January after the state canceled its regional stay-at-home order.
The economic burden was high, and apartment and office rents fell as downtown restaurants that once fed many hungry office workers and tourists at lunch struggled.
Much of California’s 58 counties remain in the state’s most restricted Purple Tier tier of a four-tier color-coded system, even though counties of San Francisco, Napa, and Santa Clara moved to the less restrictive Red Tier on Tuesday.
The following activities can be reopened:
Indoor restaurants and food courts
Indoor restaurants in restaurants, bars where meals are served, cafes and cafés, hotels, museums and food courts in shopping centers can be open up to a maximum occupancy of less than 25% or 100 people. San Francisco limits indoor dining tables to members of a household up to four people and requires indoor service to end by 10:00 PM.
Personal indoor and outdoor services
Personal services that require mask removal can be done outdoors and the service provider wears an N95 or other well-fitting mask. Personal services that require the mask to be removed can be performed indoors if the service is at least 10 feet away from others, and preferably in a separate room, and the service provider wears an N95 or other well-fitted mask.
Gyms and climbing walls can be reopened indoors with a capacity of up to 10%.
Gentle indoor fitness classes like stretching, yoga, and meditation can be done within the indoor fitness guidelines. Changing rooms and indoor showers will remain closed at this time. Indoor saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs remain closed according to state regulations.
Indoor museums, zoos and aquariums
Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums can be opened up to 25% capacity with an approved security plan.
Funerals can take place indoors with a capacity of up to 25%. Simultaneous indoor and outdoor services may not take place.
Indoor political demonstrations
Political demonstrations can take place indoors up to 25% of the maximum capacity.
Middle schools and high schools that have not yet reopened can resume reopening for personal tuition with a health officer-approved COVID-19 safety plan. Elementary schools can still be open, as was the case.
Standalone outdoor rides
Standalone outdoor rides such as ferris wheels, carousels, and train rides will open. Only one household can be accommodated in each individual room, e.g. B. a Ferris wheel cabin or a railroad car.
Indoor cinemas can be opened with a capacity of less than 25% or 100 people, but with no concessions for food or drinks. When there are multiple auditoriums, each auditorium is limited to less than 25% or 100 people, provided the complex as a whole does not exceed 25% capacity.
Indoor pools can be up to 25% capacity, but only for basic swimming and anti-drowning courses for children. Outdoor pools remain open for wider use.
The following activities can expand your operational capacity:
Small outdoor gatherings of up to 12 people from three households can continue. Outdoor dining and drinking gatherings can be expanded to include up to six people from three households.
Outdoor dining is expanded from members of two households with up to six people to members of three households with up to six people per table, and there is no requirement that service ends by 10 p.m.
Additionally, for companies that put barriers between tables in place of distancing prior to December 6th, those barriers may remain in place. New barriers to replace the required 6 foot spacing may not be built.
Hotels and other accommodations
Hotels and accommodations can open restaurants and fitness facilities in accordance with the guidelines. Although the travel quarantine has been lifted for travelers outside of the Bay Area in San Francisco, the state’s travel advisory that non-essential travelers from out of state or over 120 miles must be quarantined for 10 days remains in place.
Live entertainment with up to six performers can kick off in one trip with up to 100 cars with one household per car. The personal order or collection of concessions can only be done in a designated area in which the customer only measures vehicles and eats or drinks.
Real estate demonstrations must be virtual or, if a virtual tour is not possible, by agreement with no limit to the number of people viewing or showing the property. Open days are currently not permitted.
Outdoor youth programs and after-school time programs
Extracurricular programs for school-age children and adolescents such as community hubs, youth sports, and post-school programs can increase the number of outdoor cohorts to 25 children or adolescents. Young people are only allowed to participate in one program at a time.
Higher education and adult education
In-person, college, professional, and adult education courses can be held outdoors for up to 25 students. If special equipment is required, classes can be held indoors at 25% capacity or for an essential core service with no capacity limit as long as a physical distance of 6 feet can be maintained. No indoor lectures are allowed.
Double tennis and double pickleball can resume with members of up to four households. Up to 12 people from three households are allowed to practice low, medium or high contact sports outdoors. If you are part of a supervised youth or adult league or club, moderate and high-contact outdoor sports such as softball, field hockey and gymnastics, as well as soccer, basketball and soccer, may be resumed for stable groups of up to 25 people per team DPH safety precautions.
Competitions may only take place in the county or with teams from neighboring counties (Marin, San Mateo and Alameda) at an equal or less restrictive level. In accordance with state guidelines, travel for tournaments outside of the state may not take place.
Kenny Choi contributed to this story.