SF expands the Stay Home order in response to the coronavirus outbreak

The Stay Home Public Health Order now requires people shelter in place throughout San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area.
March 31, 2020

Why did the City issue the Stay Home Public Health Order?

This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of the coronavirus in our community. This is a mandatory order.

All Bay Area Public Health Officers are tightly coordinated in this effort and acted to issue the order in response to quickly mounting cases and serious illnesses across the region. 

Now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in a matter of days or weeks. Every hour counts. We need and appreciate the cooperation of everyone who lives and works in San Francisco to act immediately.

This is a necessary step to prevent a worsening situation. The patterns of the virus around the world, and in our own state, tell us that moving right now to maximize social distancing and restrict gathering is the best way to fight the virus and save lives. 

If everyone works together, by staying apart, we can slow the spread of the virus.

We know that there will be a lot of questions and concerns about this order. The direction to stay at home is an unprecedented move to protect public health. Please be patient and kind to one another. Together, we will get through this, and our community’s health will be protected.

Read the full Public Health Order mandating shelter in place

Order of the Health Officer No. C19-07 (English)

Orden Del Oficial De Salud No. C19-07b (Español)

有關 3 月 31 日禁止外出令更新的常見問題 (中文)

Kautusan Ng Health Officer (opisyal Sa Kalusugan) Blg. C19-07b (Pilipino)

Chỉ Thị Của Viên Chức Y Tế Số C19-07b (Tiếng Việt)

Приказ Санитарного Врача № C19-07b (русский)

(عربى) قرار مسؤول الصحة رقم C19-07b

How long will we stay home?

The order to stay safe at home went into effect on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. It has been updated and is currently set to last until May 3, 2020

We want to be sure the Order is in place for only as long as necessary, and the Health Officer will be closely monitoring the situation every day in order to determine what adjustments make sense.


San Francisco’s Stay Home Health Order was updated and broadened on March 31, 2020 in coordination with other Bay Area counties. This was necessary to help slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Our collective effort has so far been beneficial, but more is needed to prevent hospitals from being inundated. The main changes that took effect at midnight on March 31, 2020:

  • Social distancing requirements are mandatory.
  • Use of playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas, and barbecue areas is prohibited. 
  • Use of enclosed dog parks is prohibited. Open spaces that allow dogs, like Crissy Field are open.
  • Use of shared recreational facilities like golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, and climbing walls is prohibited. 
  • Sports or activities that include the use of shared equipment, like frisbee, basketball, or soccer, may only be engaged in by members of the same household. 
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home are no longer essential businesses under the Order and must cease storefront sales to the public. Minimum basic operations and delivery directly to residences or businesses may continue. 
  • Essential businesses like grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies can remain open but must stop running the parts of their operations that are not essential. Employees who can work from home must do so.
  • Essential businesses must put in place formal rules, a social distancing protocol, to ensure proper sanitation and to ensure that people stay a safe distance away from each other.  
  • Most construction must stop. There are exceptions for projects to help keep people safe and housed. Those include health care projects directly related to addressing the pandemic, construction to house the homeless, affordable housing, and multi-unit or mixed-use developments containing at least 10% income-restricted units. Social distancing requirements apply. Information on construction projects during the coronavirus outbreak will be updated as it is available.  

Businesses and stores

Essential City and county government services will be open. These include:

  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
  • Jails
  • Courts
  • Garbage/sanitation
  • Transportation (including Muni and BART)
  • Utilities (water, power and gas)
  • Certain city offices

Find open City services.

Use online services wherever possible.

Businesses that provide essential services can be open but must follow social distancing requirements and adopt a written protocol for doing so: 

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies 
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, restaurants (for takeout and delivery only)
  • Hardware stores
  • Banks
  • Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Plumbers providing service for homes and at “essential businesses”
  • Automotive, motorcycle, truck and other vehicle repair businesses
  • Bicycle repair businesses
  • Internet service providers
  • Cellular phone stores
  • Pet food stores
  • Moving companies
  • Financial services, such as payroll processing

Get more information on what businesses can stay open

What's closed

  • Dine-in restaurants (some may be open for meal pickup or takeout)
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, and picnic areas
  • Enclosed dog parks
  • Shared recreational facilities like golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, and climbing walls

Restaurants and bars

You can not eat at a restaurant or go to a bar. Many restaurants are open for pickup and delivery only. Some bars are also open for pickup of food. And some bars are delivering food and drinks.

What can't I do?

You cannot engage in group activities in person with others. 

You cannot have dinner parties.

You cannot invite friends over to your home to hang out. 

You cannot take your dog to an enclosed dog park.

You cannot go to bars or nightclubs.

You cannot go to a nail salon or get your hair cut by a stylist or barber.

You cannot go shopping for non-essential goods.

You cannot take unnecessary trips on public transport or in your car or motorbike.

You cannot play sports with anyone outside your household. 

Where does this apply?

This is in effect across the entire Bay Area, including in Marin, Solano, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties.

Separately, the State of California has issued its own shelter-in-place order. Residents must comply with the restrictions in both the County and State Orders. If the restrictions in the 2 orders are different, you must comply with the stricter of the 2 orders.

Is this mandatory or is it just guidance?

It is mandatory. This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply, and it is a misdemeanor crime not to follow the order (although the intent is not for anyone to get into trouble). 

It is critical for everyone to follow the Order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect themselves, their loved ones, friends, neighbors and the whole community. 

All persons, businesses, and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order.