Curfews on indoor dining have been lifted as The City continues to reopen business. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Curfews on indoor dining have been lifted as The City continues to reopen business. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand its reopening Thursday morning by lifting an indoor dining curfew of 11 p.m, allowing limited indoor concerts and permitting small conferences.

The City was hoping by this week it would have moved out of the state’s COVID-19 orange tier and into the least restrictive yellow tier, but a slight increase in cases has prevented that move.

Still, The City has decided to relax more restrictions as allowed under the orange tier, which it moved into on March 23. The new rules kick in at 8 a.m. They mostly align with state guidelines but remain more restrictive in some cases.

“Throughout our response to COVID-19 and our reopening efforts, we’ve focused on moving forward in a way that protects public health, and we’re going to need everyone to keep doing their part to keep our community safe,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

Since early March, San Francisco has seen an average of between 30 and 40 new COVID-19 cases daily with a current daily case average of 35. There remain concerns about more contagious variants posing a risk for a fourth surge.

But more people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and nearly 60 percent of residents 16 and over have received at least their first dose. The City expanded the vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and over on Tuesday, although appointments may be hard to come by for some weeks due to national supply constraints.

“We are watching with growing concern at the variant-fueled surges taking place in other parts of the country and in Europe,” Dr. Grant Colfax said in a statement. “The last thing we all want is to rollback our reopening. If we continue to double down on the masking, physical distancing and limiting of social gatherings with people outside one’s household, we can keep this disease in check.”

Among the changes beginning this week, which The City announced last week, are the resumption of indoor ticketed and seated events for sports, theater performances and concerts as well as graduation events at up to 35 percent capacity. Venues will need to obtain approval of a Health and Safety Plan from the Department of Public Health. Attendees would need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of being fully vaccinated.

For venues operating at 15% capacity or less, with no more than 200 people, the Health and Safety Plan is not required. Proof of vaccination or a negative test for attendees is also not required if food or beverages are not served.

Indoor meetings, conferences, receptions and other private events may resume with up to 150 participants who must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

The City is also also allowing table top cooking for indoor dining and eliminating the 11 p.m. curfew to end service. Tables remained limited to six people from up to three households.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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