A return to normal or yet another false start? Only time will tell whether San Francisco’s latest phase of reopening will backfire.
But here’s hoping.
At a press conference at Pier 39 on Tuesday, Mayor London Breed announced that San Francisco will move into red tier on Wednesday, which will allow restaurants, gyms, museums, movie theaters, funerals and a selection of other activities to resume indoors.
Gyms, along with light fitness activities like yoga classes, will be limited to 10 percent capacity, while other activities will be capped at 25 percent capacity. Indoor dining is limited to members of the same household, and no more than four patrons per table.
While indoor dining will have to cease by 10pm, the new health order allows outdoor dining to continue later into the evening, loosening a previous restriction. Outdoor dining will now allow up to six people per table, from up to three households.
In response to the news, the De Young Museum announced it would reopen Saturday, and SFMOMA said it would reopen on Sunday.
The San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition also reacted positively to the news. “The rush of customers in January looking to fulfill New Year’s resolutions was completely absent this year, which was another crippling blow to San Francisco’s already suffering fitness industry,” the coalition wrote in a statement. “Now that we are back at least at 10% capacity indoors, we invite everyone to pivot and commit to St. Patrick’s Day resolutions to help save their neighborhood gym.”
San Francisco’s new cases per day now stands at 67, down from 375 in early January, but still higher than the city’s new case rate for much of the pandemic. One positive sign that this phase of reopening could be different: 22 percent of San Francisco’s vaccine eligible population has received at least one dose, including 65 percent of the population over 65.