San Francisco plans to allow indoor live music and other events to resume next Thursday with some limits, after about a year of being prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement comes after the state said last week that indoor events can resume with limits on April 15 as vaccinations increase and cases decline. San Francisco can impose tougher restrictions than the state, but said it does plan to allow the indoor events.
“We know that much of what makes San Francisco special are the live performances and events where people can come together for music, sports and cultural performances, and graduations,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “We’ve all been missing these events over the last year.”
Breed stressed the importance that as live indoor events open people need to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible and adhere to health guidelines.
The City’s Health Officer plans to issue the new guidelines on Wednesday for indoor events as well as for increased capacity for outdoor events, which the state also changed.
Officials said The City plans to allow a maximum capacity of 35% at venues for indoor ticketed and seated events and performances with the conditions that they have an approved Health and Safety Plan and attendees show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Attendees must also keep their masks on except when eating or drinking.
Soon after the The City’s announcment, the Warriors said they plan to bring fans back to the Chase Center for the team’s nine remaining home games of the regular season. The first is set to take place April 23 against the Denver Nuggets.
For venues that open at 15% capacity or less, with no more than 200 people, there is no requirement for attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative test or to have an approved Health and Safety Plan.
Anne Taupier, acting director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said music venues, theaters and other live event operators “have not been able to open for over a year and are out of options to sustain themselves.”
“I cannot overstate how important this announcement is,” she said.
Health officials emphasized that the reopening of indoor events is contingent upon a stable or declining rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
There are an average of 37 new cases daily in San Francisco, about what The City has seen since early March. But there remain concerns about how more contagious variants could impact the case rate.
“We must continue to follow the health precautions we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Department of Public Health head Dr. Grant Colfax said. “If we keep up the good work, and get sufficient vaccine supply we will hopefully be able to sustain and even expand these exciting reopenings.”