Imbibers rejoice: San Francisco could reopen outdoor bars as early as next week, Mayor London Breed announced Monday. Other businesses that could resume operations Monday, July 29, include hair and nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, museums, zoos, and massage establishments.
“Thanks to San Franciscans’ efforts to follow health requirements, wear face coverings, and practice social distancing, our COVID-19 health indicators are in a good place and we can continue reopening our city,” Mayor Breed said in a press release. “We know a lot of businesses and residents are struggling financially, and this next step will help get more San Franciscans back to work while still balancing safety.”
The accelerated reopening of these businesses, which were originally scheduled to resume in mid-July, must be approved by state regulators, and will also depend on the city’s health indicators remaining stable. City officials are confident the state will approve its request for accelerating the reopening of these businesses, according to the Chronicle.
Like restaurants, bars that do not have existing outdoor space will be able to apply to the city’s free Shared Spaces program to take over sidewalk, parking, or street space. However, discrepancies between city policies and the state-run department of Alcoholic Beverage Control have led to delays in restaurants getting permits to serve alcohol. How bars will navigate this bureaucracy remains to be seen.