SF Businesses Prepare as City May Move to Yellow Tier Soon

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The city of San Francisco is expecting to enter the yellow COVID-19 reopening tier this week.

Bar owners and customers say they are hoping the city moves to the yellow tier, so their business can move back inside as getting a drink outside in foggy cold San Francisco does take a lot of bundling up.

One of the biggest changes of the yellow tier is that bars that don't serve food can open indoors at 25% capacity. Other changes include indoor gyms, wineries and tasting rooms can open at 50% capacity, while outdoor live events are allowed at 67% capacity.

It's looking more likely that San Francisco could move to the least restrictive yellow tier. Health leaders say they're optimistic the state will move San Francisco to the yellow tier by next Friday.

Bar owner Damon Bell said he is ready to welcome people back indoors at 25% capacity.

“It's 12 people inside out of the cold. Twelve people sticking around past six or seven o'clock,” he said.

At Blooms Saloon, they can have people inside because they are partnering with other restaurants and serving food. But workers say they are ready to return to being a bar.

“We have to go get the food and ring it up and now we can just serve inside, which is what our customers want anyway,” said Barbara Jo Tice, a bartender with Blooms Saloon.

While you won't be able to actually sit at the bar, medical experts say it's safe to take a seat inside.

“I think it's safe given where we are not just in terms of numbers less than 1% positivity rate. But also the vaccination effort happening,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, UCSF's infectious disease specialist.

Customers are looking forward to a warmer option.

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