Salons may reopen -- but with limited capacity
Ernesto Cabello, owner of Ernesto's Hair Salon, said the MUNI red carpet lanes have ruined his business. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

Destinations such as outdoor hair salons and barber shops, outdoor pools and indoor malls will reopen as of September 1, and outdoor gyms and fitness centers will open September 9, Mayor London Breed announced today. 

By mid-September, some in-classroom learning may be able to occur under modified conditions. As long as San Francisco continues to make progress on limiting the spread of COVID-19, and case numbers and hospitalizations do not increase too much, low-risk indoor activities such as small special gatherings up to 25 people indoors could occur. Also by the end of the month, indoor hair salons and barber shops will be opened with a limited capacity, as will indoor one-on-one personal training, indoor solo use of gyms and fitness centers, and places of worship at 25 percent capacity. 

The tone set by the mayor and other city officials at a press conference today was both cautious and hopeful. If individuals continue to wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands — and if the city’s covid numbers reflect well — activities such as indoor museums and in-classroom learning for younger students could be possible by mid-September.  

The state has lifted restrictions that previously prevented San Francisco from reopening. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new color-coding system has four levels of covid concern: purple, pink/red, orange, and yellow, in descending order of severity. The new system places San Francisco in the red, the second-most-restrictive tier. The city, however, will continue to reopen based on local health indicators, not just state guidelines — and all plans are subject to change, city officials said. 

According to Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Public Health, San Francisco is seeing about 75 new cases a day and is testing more than 3,500 people a day. San Francisco is still not reaching its goals for contact tracing — with the city currently reaching 81 percent of cases and 75 percent of their contacts. 

Information for small businesses to prepare to reopen is available at  

San Francisco’s tentative Sept. 1 re-opening list: 

  • Outdoor hair salons and barber shops
  • Outdoor personal services
  • Outdoor massage
  • Outdoor pools (lap swimming, wading), with limited capacity
  • Outdoor non-contact, recreational activities
  • Indoor malls (no food courts, gathering areas) at 25 percent capacity
  • Childcare and Out of School Time programs, with limitations
  • Higher and adult education, with limitations
  • Indoor funerals (up to 12 people)
  • Outdoor gym and fitness centers (Sept. 9)

Follow Us

Clara-Sophia Daly is a multimedia storyteller and reporter who has worked both in print and audio. A graduate of Skidmore College where she studied International Affairs and Media/Film studies, she enjoys working at the intersection of art and politics, and focusing on the stories of individuals to reveal larger themes.

Join the Conversation


  1. I’m sorry. I am so confused. According to Nancy Pelosi and her actions yesterday I thought it was okay to get your haircut INSIDE a salon!!! Would it help me if I drove up to my barber in the Castro in a stretch limousine to have inside access? Please help me decide what to do! SOS! Or is that SOL?

    votes. Sign in to vote
Leave a comment
Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *