As presaged by that Board of Supervisors vote last week, and thanks to relatively low and stable COVID case growth and hospitalization rates, SF is moving ahead with some earlier-than-previously-announced opening dates for businesses.
Bar owners around the city are likely rejoicing that they will be joining their restaurant brethren in opening for outdoor service as of next Monday. For some bars without patios or a lot of sidewalk space this may present a bit of a challenge, but for many this means they can get back to slinging drinks without having to serve food with them — as the state initially was insisting. And this is all happening at least six weeks earlier than originally announced, with Mayor London Breed having initially lumped bars in with gyms and nail salons as not being able to open until mid-August.
"We know a lot of businesses and residents are struggling financially, and this next step will help get more San Franciscans back to work while still balancing safety," Breed said in a statement.
Monday's announcement does not apparently change the timeline for indoor dining to resume — that is still set for July 13. But it does move up the reopenings of hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, zoos, museums, and tattoo parlors. And bars that don't serve food but have patios — like Anina in Hayes Valley and The Mix in the Castro — will get to open for your socially distanced, day-drinking pleasure. Others have a few days to apply for a temporary permit from the city to take over a sidewalk or alley.
Places like Zeitgeist (pictured above, with partitioned picnic tables) and The Wooden Nickel in the Mission, and The Lookout and The Edge in the Castro have already been open for at least a week because they serve food and therefore got to open outdoor spaces at the same time as restaurants (in the case of The Edge, they partnered with the taqueria across the street, El Capitan, to serve nachos, tacos, and burritos on the sidewalk).
Breed said that the city is able to move these reopening dates up because of residents' adherence to social-distancing guidelines and widespread use of face masks. And Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax says, "We expect COVID-19 cases to increase as we reopen. To keep that increase manageable and sustain our commitment to protecting the people most vulnerable to the virus, everyone in San Francisco must continue to take the precautions that save lives."
Over the weekend, the city also released this PSA about masks: