SF reopens outdoor dining, personal care services, other activities

Some businesses allowed in CA’s Purple Tier can reopen. Reopening businesses must follow extra safety requirements because of SF’s high case rate.
January 28, 2021

An updated health order allows for more services to operate. All customers can see what to expect when visiting a business.  

In alignment with the State’s recommendations, San Francisco is reopening at the State’s Purple Tier. The decision to reopen balances the public health risks of COVID-19 transmission with the public health risks of economic and mental health stress. 

COVID-19 case rates are twice as high now as they were the last time San Francisco opened at the State’s Purple Tier. This means twice as many people walking around San Francisco have COVID-19 than the last time we reopened. 

Most COVID-19 infections are caused by people who have no symptoms of illness. We also have the added risk of new virus variants and mutations in the community, and it is unclear whether these variants will be more contagious or more deadly. 

The opening of sectors does not signify that these activities are “safe.” We have made our best efforts to make these activities and sectors safer for workers and the public. 

However, this requires that everyone do their part to make these activities as safe as possible, including wearing masks that covers your mouth and nose especially when talking, avoiding indoor settings to the extent possible, maintaining at least 6 feet distance from those you don’t live with, avoiding get-togethers and gatherings to the extent possible, getting tested and isolating if you are ill, and complying with additional health protocols required of open businesses. See all guidelines for operating a business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some businesses can reopen due to the Regional Stay Home Order being lifted, while others can expand capacity

Restaurants can reopen outdoor dining

Outdoor dining will be allowed for up to 6 people from 2 households. Tables must be 6 feet apart. Barriers cannot be used to replace the 6 foot requirement.

Older adults, those with health risks, and members of their household are urged not to participate in outdoor dining. 

All restaurants must designate and implement a COVID-19 Worksite Safety Monitor.

See reopening guidance for restaurants from the Department of Public Health.

Personal care services can reopen outdoors and indoors

Services where customers must take off their face coverings are still not allowed. This includes shaving beards, and body art around the nose and mouth area.

Indoor personal care services can have up to 25% maximum capacity.

See reopening guidance for personal care services from the Department of Public Health.

Gyms and fitness centers can open for 1-on-1 personal training indoors

Three people may be inside the gym at once: the customer, the personal trainer, and a staff member. 

Outdoor fitness classes will be able to have up to 25 people, 6 feet apart.

See reopening guidance for gyms from the Department of Public Health.

Hotels and lodging can open for tourists, but travel quarantine still in place

Guests from outside of the Bay Area must book their hotel stay for longer than 10 days, and use that time to quarantine.

Indoor gathering areas must remain closed. These include indoor fitness centers and pools, restaurants, business centers, and event venues. Outdoor dining and pools can reopen.

See reopening guidance for hotels from the Department of Public Health.

Retail businesses can increase capacity

Encourage outdoor, curbside, or delivery services over indoor retail.

Indoor grocery, retail, and shopping malls can open up to 25% maximum capacity (from 20%).

Standalone grocery stores can increase maximum capacity to 50% (from 35%). Self-serve bulk food bins are now allowed, with people staying 6 feet apart and sanitizing their hands.

All retail and essential businesses must have a way to limit the number of people inside their business. 

Special shopping hours should be reserved for older adults and others at risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

No eating or drinking is allowed.

Support local businesses from home. Visit to learn how. 

Many outdoor activities can reopen

Skate parks, batting cages, miniature golf, kart racing, laser tag, and paintball can reopen outdoors. Roller and ice skating rinks can operate up to 25% capacity.

You can play golf and tennis with more people. See reopening guidance for outdoor sports facilities, from the Department of Public Health.

Outdoor zoos and museums can reopen

Outdoor museums have no capacity limit, as long as everyone stays 6 feet apart.

Outdoor zoos can open up to 50% capacity.

Open-air tour buses and boats can reopen

Passengers must be in a group of no more than 12. Each group must be separated with a physical barrier, 6 feet apart. If there is no physical barrier, the groups must be kept 12 feet apart. 

See reopening guidance for facilities hosting gatherings, from the Department of Public Health.

More outdoor gatherings are allowed, with health guidelines

Outdoor gatherings are now allowed, but staying home is the best way to reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Every interaction you have adds to the overall risk for everyone. Think about who will be there, what will be happening, and where you will be.

More people can gather casually outside

Everyone must stay 6 feet apart and wear a mask.

If there will be food or drink, people from 2 households can gather outside, up to 6.

If there is no food or drink, people from 3 households can gather outside, up to 12. 

Outdoor religious gatherings and political protests have increased capacity

There are no capacity limits as long as everyone can stay 6 feet apart. No food or drinks can be served or sold.

Everyone must wear face coverings and keep them on.

See reopening guidance for places of worship, from the Department of Public Health.