Indoor Bars and More Can Reopen Thursday

When the city reaches yellow tier, all businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen at limited capacity.

This week, San Francisco will lift its last remaining restrictions on certain businesses and activities. 

On Thursday, May 6, San Francisco will enter California’s yellow tier, the least restrictive phase of reopening. 

“This is an incredible milestone for us to hit as we move forward on our path to recovery, and it is possible because of how well we are doing in our efforts to vaccinate everyone we can in this City and how well the people of San Francisco have done listening to public health officials,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “The Yellow Tier means that no longer are there any businesses that are required to keep their doors shut in this City, and it means we are continuing to allow more activities to be done safely with more people.”

The big news in the announcement is that indoor bars and breweries, which have been shut for nearly 14 months, can now reopen at 25 percent capacity or a maximum of 100 people without serving food. “Family entertainment” including ice and roller rinks and arcades can also reopen at 50 percent capacity. Saunas, steam rooms, and indoor hot tubs can reopen at 25 percent capacity. 

Several other businesses can now expand their capacity. Gyms, indoor fitness classes, movie theaters and offices can expand their capacity to 50 percent. Indoor seated live performances and events — think Warriors — can move to 50 percent capacity with a city-approved health plan, while outdoor seated events — think Giants — can open up at 67 percent capacity. These events may also include vaccinated-only sections where people can sit closer together.

The announcement comes as San Francisco continues to make great progress in vaccination and stopping the spread of COVID-19. New case counts remain close to historic lows, and half of the city’s population is fully vaccinated. Soon, the CDC is expected to allow youths ages 12 to 15 to get the vaccine, providing another bright spot. However, rising case counts in Oregon and Washington, as well as the apparent unwillingness of many Americans to get vaccinated, remain cause for concern.  

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