Indoor Dining, Houses of Worship to Reopen

The new rules, which take effect tomorrow, will also allow mall food courts and outdoor family entertainment to reopen.

Just like that, San Franciscans will be able venture indoors to feed their bellies and their souls.

On Tuesday, Mayor London Breed announced that tomorrow, Wednesday, September 30, indoor dining and houses of worship can reopen indoors at limited capacity. Breed also loosened several other restrictions, including allowing higher capacity for outdoor gatherings, and reopening outdoor family activities like carousels and miniature trains. The announcement marks a major milestone in San Francisco’s methodical reopening process, which has been ramping up considerably in recent weeks. 

“We know this continues to be a challenging time with people struggling economically and emotionally. However, 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,” Breed said in a statement. 

Capacity for both indoor dining restaurants (which include bars that serve meals) and houses of worship will be limited to 25 percent, or no more than 100 people total. Patrons and parishioners will be required to wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking. Singing or chanting will not be permitted at indoor houses of worship. 

Also starting on Wednesday, outdoor political demonstrations and religious services may now include up to 200 people. Higher education and vocational classes that require specialized equipment will be allowed to take place indoors. And shopping centers may increase their capacity to 50 percent, and reopen their food courts following the indoor dining guidelines. 

The city hopes to reopen indoor movie theaters with limited capacity and no concessions on October 7, and outdoor, city-owned playgrounds on October 14. 

As with all phases of reopening, San Francisco Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax stressed that plans could be rolled back if cases begin surging once again. 

“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.”

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