San Francisco will be entering a new stay-at-home order starting Sunday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. The order is expected to stay in effect into 2021, until Jan. 4.
“Hospitalizations are rising everywhere,” Mayor London Breed said in a virtual press conference. “If we run out of beds, there won’t be another county that can help us.”
San Francisco has not yet reached the ICU capacity trigger set by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this week, which would have enforced stricter stay-at-home orders for regions with hospitals with less than 15 percent capacity. However, the city, along with various counties like Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, and the city of Berkeley, will “opt in” to the Governor’s restrictions anyway.
In San Francisco, that means personal services like nail salons and barber shops, indoor gyms and fitness centers, drive-in theaters or performances, and outdoor playgrounds and family entertainment centers, and outdoor dining will be required to suspend operations.
Restaurants can still offer delivery and takeout. Retail operations like grocery stores must reduce their capacity to 20 percent, and track the number of people with a metering system while requiring separate shopping hours for seniors and vulnerable individuals.
Outdoor gatherings must be limited to a maximum of 12 people from the same household, including outdoor gyms and fitness activities. Youth sports may not have spectators or competitions. Golf, tennis, and other low-contact sports can continue with modifications.
“I don’t want to do any of this. I know this means peoples jobs, their businesses, their livelihoods are at stake,” Breed said. “This is going to be painful. And we need to fight for any relief we can get from the federal government to get us through this.”
Schools that are currently open will be allowed to stay open, and elementary schools that are still closed can reopen with a waiver. Breed has been vocal about her support for opening schools, and reiterated her position for reopening public schools again at the press conference on Friday.
Breed also addressed backlash surrounding her visit to The French Laundry in November, calling the critiques “fair” once again. “My job just isn’t to lead by the letter of the law but to lead in the spirit of it. I understand that, and I’m committed to doing better.”
At the press conference, Breed hoped that the anticipated December surge of COVID-19 would be “the final test,” given the promising information about coronavirus vaccines.
“We received some very good news on our vaccines. They’re coming,” Breed said. “That means there is, as I said, a light at the end of the tunnel.”
This article is being updated with new information.