As discussed earlier this week, the timing for the restart of indoor dining in San Francisco is looking to be next week, and Mayor London Breed confirmed on Wednesday that it will start again as soon as SF is moved into the "Red" tier.
On Tuesday, March 2, San Francisco is expected to move into the “Red” tier for reopening under the state’s rubric, which San Mateo and Marin counties just did as of this past Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, restaurants should be able to reopen with indoor seating at 25% capacity under “Red” tier guidance, along with movie theaters and museums. Retail stores can raise their capacities to 50%, and gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity.
As restaurants reopen indoors for the second time in this pandemic, there will be some new rules specific to indoor spaces that don't apply for outdoor dining spaces. In a call with business owners Wednesday night, Dr. Susan Philip of the SF Department of Public Health explained that the city's goal is to "align with the state’s 'Red' tier framework as much as possible, with specific additional safeguards to limit the spread of the virus."
This includes limiting indoor dining tables to four people from the same household, and cutting off indoor service at 10 p.m. Outdoor tables, however, can serve people later, and six people can dine together from up to three different households. Policing how many households are dining together was not something that restaurants were all that able to do back in the fall, but this is the new guidance.
Bars, wineries and brewpubs that are serving food (technically "bona fide meals") can open for indoor and outdoor dining under the same rules as restaurants.
Also, the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is being lifted.
"I am excited that we are going to see some real change in this city," Breed said.
"I wish we could give you two to three weeks notice. But I hope even one week is something useful for you," Breed said, per the SF Business Times.
Laurie Thomas with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association issued a statement saying, "We are thrilled to receive this new guidance almost a week in advance of reopening, which will allow our businesses to implement what is needed and be able to bring back staff in a timely manner."
As for gyms, outdoor fitness classes will be capped at 25 people, with masks required; indoor fitness classes including yoga will be allowed at 10 percent capacity, with face coverings required at all times.
Photo: Al's Place/Instagram