For small businesses, especially those that rely on close in-person interaction, the past half year has been a difficult slog, to put it mildly. But finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
This week, Mayor London Breed announced a new phase of reopening beginning next Monday, September 14. Personal services, like gyms, hair and nail salons, massage and tattoo parlors, and tanning salons will be able to open up indoors with limited capacity. Many of these businesses had been permitted to operate outdoors for the past couple of weeks, but the heat and smoke didn’t make for great business conditions. Hotels, houses of worship, open-air tour buses and boats, and “outdoor family entertainment” such as mini golf will be able to open Monday with limited capacity as well.
Starting the next Monday September 21, indoor museums, the SF Zoo, and, crucially, elementary schools with an approved health and safety plan, will also be able to open with limited capacity. In all of these settings, people will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
“I’m so glad we can move forward earlier than expected to reopen more businesses that have been closed since March,” Mayor Breed said in a press release. “It’s on all of us to keep doing our part so that we can get more businesses reopened, get our kids back in school, and keep making progress on our economic recovery.”
Breed’s announcement comes after months of advocacy and protest from the owners of gyms and fitness studios, salons, arts organizations, and other groups. Many of the establishments opening in the next couple of weeks were originally slated to open on July 29.
After peaking in late July at an average of 131 new cases per day, the latest city data shows San Francisco recording an average of 70 cases per day, with the curve continuing to trend downwards.
The next major reopening milestone is scheduled for sometime in October, when middle schools will be permitted to reopen. High schoolers will need to wait until November under the current timeline.
In the meantime, San Francisco drivers should be aware that enforcement has resumed in permit parking zones.