Starting on Thursday, San Francisco will resume indoor events and performances with live audiences -- albeit with capacity limits -- in accordance with newly eased state guidelines.
Although San Francisco remains in the orange tier of the state's reopening guidelines, recent changes to the state's guidelines will allow for San Francisco and other counties in the orange tier to resume indoor events like sporting events, musical and theatrical performances, and graduations at 35 percent capacity.
In addition, attendees at indoor events will be required to social distance, keep masks on except for when eating and drinking, and to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before entering a venue. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will not be required for smaller venues operating at 15 percent capacity or less, with no more than 200 attendees.
Larger outdoor events can also resume, but operators will be required to submit a health and safety plan to city officials first. Guests will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test if the event has more than 4,000 people or if the event has 100 people and food and drinks are served.
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Also under the new updates, indoor private events like meetings, conventions and receptions may resume with as many as 150 people, so long as there's assigned seating and guests can provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Outdoor private events can also resume with up to 300 people. Guests as smaller outdoor events with 100 people or less would not be required to show provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Also, capacity limits for other activities have been eased under the new statewide updates, including allowing up to eight per table at outdoor restaurants and bars and allowing informal outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people or 25 if food or drinks are served.
"San Francisco is continuing to reopen and this latest round of activities and events that can start to resume is an exciting step for our city," Mayor London Breed said in a statement Wednesday. "We are still in a pandemic, and we can't let our guard down -- but that doesn't mean we can't still find ways to adapt to our new normal, have fun, and enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer."
The updated guidelines comes as the city continues to see stable COVID-19 cases, averaging between 30 to 40 new cases daily since early March.
The low number of new cases may be attributed to increased vaccinations, as nearly 60 percent of the city has already been vaccinated.
Despite this, city health officials are monitoring rising COVID-19 numbers in other places. Department of Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said, "We are watching with growing concern at the variant-fueled surges taking place in other parts of the country and in Europe. The last thing we all want is to roll back 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."
More information about the new guidelines can be found at www.sf.gov/reopening.