reopening the bay area

Indoor Dining, Other Activities Resume in San Francisco

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As new daily COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in San Francisco and the city moved down Tuesday on the state's new tiered system for reopenings, city leaders announced indoor dining can resume as soon as Wednesday.

Under the updated plan, restaurants and bars serving food can resume indoor dining with a 25 % capacity limit, or no more than 100 people for larger spaces, and staff and guests must wear masks when they're not eating or drinking.

Along with indoor dining, city leaders also announced other activities would reopen, including hotel fitness centers and family entertainment.

San Francisco got some great news from the state Tuesday. Starting Wednesday, it will officially move from the red tier to the orange tier, which means more restrictions lifted on the city's businesses. Jackie Ward reports.

In addition, the city being moved to the orange level on the state's tiered system will also allow for the city to expand capacity for places of worship, indoor malls, and outdoor political demonstrations, city officials said.

Places of worship will be allowed to hold indoor services at 25% capacity, with as many as 100 people, while outdoor services can now include up to 200 people, as long there is space for social distancing. Singing and chanting during services, however, isn't allowed as it can possibly spread COVID-19.

Outdoor political demonstrations will now also be able to include up to 200 people, while capacities at indoor malls has been raised to 50%. Indoor high education and vocational classes may also reopen, but with capacity limits as well.

The city also announced that indoor movie theaters will be allowed to reopen next week on Oct.7. Then sometime by mid-October outdoor playgrounds will reopen.

"Thanks to San Francisco's commitment to following public health guidance, we are seeing improvements in our numbers, which means we can continue to move forward with reopening," Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

"Reopening indoor restaurants and houses of worship with limited capacity, and creating opportunities for families to safely enjoy outdoor entertainment are a good step on our road to recovery. We are committed to following the data and continuing reopening once our local health indicators demonstrate it is safe to do so. That said, the last thing we want to see is a spike in cases and a need to roll back all the progress we've made, so we all need to do our part," she said.

“This latest round of activities and re-openings is a result of the dedication and commitment of our residents and businesses. Our actions to limit the spread of the virus continue to pay off," Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said. "We want this to continue and we do not want any setbacks, so we will keep reminding the public to be diligent and wear a mask, physically distance and wash your hands."

"We are thrilled to welcome families back to our playgrounds, centers of neighborhood joy and connection that have been sorely missed, particularly in our low income and high-density neighborhoods," San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg said.

Officials with the city's Department of Public Health are working with restaurants and other businesses on the reopenings and updated guidelines. Health officials said they will also continue to assess the city's Key Health Indicators to ensure the businesses and activities can remain open safely.

In addition to the latest reopenings, city officials also said so far, the city has approved 20 schools for reopening, out of the total 60 school reopening applications that have already been submitted.

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