After San Francisco restaurants and other businesses began serving customers outside on Friday, on Monday the city also began allowing retailers, among other places, to reopen.
The latest reopening of businesses with added modifications marks Phase 2b of the city’s plan for reopening in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Phase 2a started earlier this month with the reopening of places like childcare centers, outdoor museums and historical sites, botanical gardens and retail shops with outdoor curbside service.
Under Phase 2b, outdoor dining is permitted for as many as six people to a table and indoor retail shops can allow people inside, so long as the number of people inside doesn’t go beyond half of the shop’s capacity limit. Additionally, outdoor gatherings must not exceed more than 12 people.
In addition to outdoor dining and indoor shopping, other businesses and activities that resumed on Monday included warehouse manufacturing; non-emergency medical appointments; private indoor household services like house cleaning; some offices; outdoor religious services and ceremonies; outdoor fitness classes; entertainment and sports venues without spectators; summer camps; and any other small outdoor gatherings.
“San Francisco retail businesses and residents have been waiting for a while to get to this next phase, and we’re committed to continuing to make progress on reopening so people can get back to work and regain some sense of normalcy in their lives,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
As the businesses and activities continue to ramp up, city officials are urging residents to continue taking precautions against COVID-19, including wearing required face coverings and washing their hands regularly.
“As we do reopen, we want to make sure that we do so carefully and safely, and that we’re ready to adjust if we see a spike in cases. Our success depends on each person doing their part, taking precautions and being mindful,” Breed said.
“The virus spreads very quickly and can rapidly overwhelm communities and health care systems. While we hope that won’t happen in San Francisco, that is why we must be vigilant and flexible as we enter this new phase. Residents must continue to take precautions and sustain the habits that have gotten us where we are today,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the city’s Department of Public Health.
The city’s reopening plan is aligned with the state guidelines and is also being guided by the city’s health indicators; used to track data like the number of new infections and the number of available hospital beds, among other data.
Under the reopening plan, the next Phase 2c wouldn’t start until July 13, and would see the reopening of indoor dining at restaurants with some modifications, hair salons and barber shops, and real estate open houses by appointment only. Afterward, Phase 3 would start sometime in mid-August and would likely include various sub-phases in which places like schools, bars, gyms, playgrounds, swimming pools, indoor museums, and nail salons, massage parlors, tattoo shops and other personal services can reopen.
Finally, Phase 4, for which a date hasn’t yet been determined, would see the reopening of concert venues, live audience sports and performances, nightclubs, festivals and hotels.
For more information about the city’s phased plan to reopen, people can go to www.sf.gov/reopening.
Daniel Montes, Bay City News