After over a month of heavy lobbying by small fitness studio and gym owners, San Francisco is moving ahead to reopen gyms for indoor workouts starting Monday. And also allowed to reopen indoors are hair and nail salons — which have been plying their trades outdoors for two weeks now. And hotels and Airbnbs will be able to welcome guests back in as well.
Everyone going to get their hair done or jump on a cardio machine must wear a face mask at all times, as must the staff.
"Today, as we prepare to reopen additional businesses indoors for the first time in months, it’s important to remember that our progress is not automatic or inevitable,” said Joaquín Torres, the city's director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. "Let’s honor those sacrifices by continuing to do what’s necessary to stop this virus and keep reopening. Our small businesses are counting on us."
Dr. Grant Colfax, SF's director of public health, issued a statement as well saying, "We will continue our gradual reopening as it allows us to monitor the spread, manage its immediate challenges and mitigate the long-term impact on our city."
The move comes as San Francisco's COVID case count and hospitalization rate has consistently trended downward for several weeks, though the spike of July into August remains fresh in memory.
And the change comes just a week after small gym and fitness studio owners called out city officials for allowing city employee gyms to remain open since April while their businesses have suffered under the extended closure.
At the "red" tier, according to the state, San Francisco could have resumed personal services like haircuts and pedicures at limited capacity indoors as of last Monday (in time for Nancy's blowout), but San Francisco's rules have tended to be stricter than those dictated by the state, and take precedence. Gyms would also have been permitted to open at 10-percent capacity as of last Monday — and the city hasn't specified what lowered capacity should be for each type of business, possibly leaving this up to owners' discretion. As the SF Business Times notes, the city signaled that museums and galleries may be able to open at limited capacity on September 21, and they've been asked to submit health and safety plans to the Department of Public Health.
Photo: Danielle Cerullo