Under the latest health order from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, city residents are being required to wear masks everywhere outside their homes, with few exceptions.
Escalating from a previous order that only required masks when entering public spaces or businesses, the new order is being framed as a preparation and precaution as more businesses begin to open next month. As Mayor London Breed announced Thursday afternoon, restaurants in SF will be able to resume outdoor dining on June 15, and churches may resume religious services as well. Retail stores will get to welcome patrons inside on that date, and a month later, on July 13, indoor dining and hair salons will be able to reopen.
"As we begin to reopen, it is going to be more important than ever that people cover their faces when they are outside the home,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “With more people moving about, we are tempting the virus to spread, and we need to do everything we can to stop that from happening.”
During her afternoon press conference, in answer to a question about "no mask, no entry" policies at businesses in other jurisdictions, Breed confirmed that all SF businesses are now expected to enforce this rule.
The revised mask rule, which takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday, is technically only a bit more stringent than the one already in place, and adds required masks for food-service workers, walking on sidewalks, and exercising within 30 feet of another person. You are still allowed to sit in the park with people in your household without masks on, with six feet between you and other groups.
The exceptions to the rule where a person does not need to be wearing a mask, as the city explains in a press release, include:
- Being in a private office where others are not around or likely to come in
- Driving in a car alone or with members of your household
- When outside in a location where nobody is within 30 feet. Even then, you must have a face covering visible and ready for immediate use (around your neck, hanging from a pocket, purse, backpack, etc.) When someone is within 30 feet you must put it on. For example, if you are walking, jogging or biking, you must have a face covering visible, like a bandana tied around your neck, and you need to cover your nose and mouth with it when you are within 30 feet of anyone else.
- For children 12 or younger
- When eating or drinking if they are alone or with only members of their household and nobody else is within six feet
- For people with documented medical exceptions or other conditions that prevent them from wearing one
In a statement, Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said, "Wearing a mask, or other face covering, is one of the top three things you can do to help us re-open more, and reopen sooner. It is also very important to continue to social distancing and to get tested if you have any symptoms. These three actions will help build a community that is safe, healthy and protecting each other from exposure and transmission."