SF is Purple: What Does That Mean?

Gyms, churches, movie theaters and other indoor activities must cease as the city enters California’s most restrictive COVID tier.

Welcome to purple tier, San Francisco. 

Coronavirus transmission is now considered “widespread” in the city, triggering new state-level restrictions, including the closure of indoor dining, gyms, and museums. Plus, San Francisco will now be subject to the state’s COVID curfew

As the virus surges around the country, almost the entire state — with the exception of Marin and a few rural counties — are now in the same boat.

While non-essential retailers, like bookstores, clothing stores, and shopping malls — as well as personal services, like hair and nail salons — may remain open at 25 percent capacity, most other indoor activities will be prohibited. That includes gyms, museums, movie theaters, houses of worship, and the recently opened SkyStar ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park. Outdoor fitness, worship, and movie screenings will still be permitted.  

Indoor dining restaurants and mall food courts were already prohibited earlier this month. Unlike in Los Angeles County, San Francisco officials have so far chosen to keep outdoor dining open. 

Schools that have already opened for in-person learning, which, in San Francisco, include only private and parochial schools, will be allowed to stay open. Elementary schools and small-cohort learning centers will continue to be allowed to open, but not middle or high schools. 

As for socializing, in purple tier, private gatherings must take place outdoors and be limited to no more than three households. 

In addition, starting today, San Francisco will now be subject to the state’s COVID curfew, lasting from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. Restaurants will still be allowed to do pickup and delivery orders, and people will be able to go to the grocery store or walk their dog. Unhoused people are exempt. It is unclear how this order — which ranks among the strictest in the nation — will be enforced.

The curfew is set to last until Dec. 21, although the state reserves the right to extend or modify the order.

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