San Francisco loosens pandemic rules further ahead of state’s June 15 reopening

Photo by Jane Tyska, Bay Area News Group

As San Francisco, as well as the entire state, prepares for a full reopening next month after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, city officials on Thursday announced the reopening of several more activities.

As of Thursday, local health orders have been lifted to permit outdoor ticketed and seated performances, as well as spectator sports and other live events.

The updated health orders will also raise the number of households that can sit together at outdoor events from one to three, per groups of six people. Additionally, patrons dining both indoors and outdoors will now be able to be served at bar counters and tables without seats in groups of up to eight people, with six feet of distance between groups.

Food preparation at bars and tables, including sushi bars, can also resume, with distancing guidelines in place.

For personal services both indoors and outdoors, people getting tattooed, pierced or massaged around their face and neck can remove their face coverings, city officials said.

Face coverings during small indoor gatherings in private settings are still recommended except for when eating and drinking. However, during outdoor gatherings, the removal of face masks is only recommended for groups that only include fully vaccinated individuals.

For after-school and other youth programs, cohort size limitations have been completely lifted, allowing for programs to serve more kids, per state licensing guidelines.

In addition, indoor places of worship can create sections for fully vaccinated individuals without adhering to social distancing requirements.

“San Francisco is looking more and more every day like the vibrant city that it always has been,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “We have shown the world how resilient we are, and now we’re on the road to recovery. As we approach the last phases of reopening, we will keep doing all we can to build back all of the best parts of our city so that all of us can thrive. We are ready to do this with the same urgency, partnership with the community, and commitment to equity that we have had throughout this pandemic.”

Photo by Sand Crain on Unsplash

“Currently, our economy is more open, and we are interacting more with each other than we were when we entered our third surge this past winter. But instead of surging again and going into another lock down, our case rates and hospitalizations continue to fall. That is the power of the vaccines at work in our city,” San Francisco Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said.

San Francisco remains in the yellow tier of the state’s reopening tier-based system, Blueprint for a Safer Economy, as the city continues to see low COVID-19 case rates. Currently, the city is seeing an average of 18 cases daily — the lowest average rate the city has seen since it first declared a state of emergency back in March 2020.

So far, 76 percent of the city’s population has been vaccinated, city officials said.

For more information about the city’s reopening plans, residents can visit www.sf.gov/reopening.

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