Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, museums, zoos, outdoor bars, and outdoor swimming pools are all slated to reopen next Monday, Jun. 29, if San Francisco keeps coronavirus cases and hospitalizations low — and if the state grants San Francisco permission to take these steps early, as it has for many other counties.
The state has not yet granted the city a so-called “variance,” but Mayor London Breed is confident it will.
“We remain optimistic that the state will approve our request, given that the majority of other counties that have asked have received approval,” said Breed spokesman Andy Lynch, adding that “San Francisco’s health metrics are in better shape than some other counties that have already been approved.”
San Francisco remains far off from completely reopening — as officials do not expect hotels, gyms, movie theaters and indoor areas at bars to reopen until “August and beyond.” If all goes well, indoor dining at restaurants could resume in mid-July.
Schools have not yet been given the go-ahead to reopen, although city officials have said they expect them to reopen in some form in the fall. And mass gatherings such as sporting events, conventions, and religious services might be a long way off.
San Francisco is, indeed, meeting many of the criteria for reopening, such as keeping cases and hospitalizations low, maintaining enough empty hospital beds, testing more than 1,800 people per day, tracing many of the contacts of those who have been infected.
“We will continue to closely monitor those indicators in San Francisco as we partner with city and community leaders on careful reopening,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, in a statement.
He said he does expect COVID-19 cases to increase as the reopening proceeds. “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,” he said.
That means wearing a face covering when you leave the house and physically distancing yourself from people you don’t live with.
San Francisco is well into a phase in which retail shops, restaurants, and outdoor sporting facilities can reopen with precautions. In its announcement today, the mayor’s office reemphasized that the city “will likely experience increases in cases and hospitalizations.”
But it is weighing that against the ongoing economic toll. Said Office of Economic and Workforce Development Director Joaquin Torres: “As summer begins, we know the businesses and public institutions included in this round of reopening will come as a breath of fresh air for San Franciscans and the hardworking people set to reopen their doors and welcome us back while keeping us safe.”
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