SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Health officials in San Francisco on Thursday announced plans to allow indoor live events to resume in the city next week with capacity limits and other COVID safety protocols in place.

Mayor London Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said in a press release that San Francisco is on track to soon be able to hold live events indoors such as concerts and sporting events beginning next week on April 15.

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SF officials will be issuing guidelines next week in response to new guidance recently issued by California health officials. The state’s announcement established operating guidelines for indoor live events and performances, which included activities that had not been previously addressed or allowed to reopen in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

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The state has also changed the allowances for meetings and private events like conferences and receptions in addition to expanding the number
of participants allowed to attend indoor and outdoor social gatherings. San Francisco will be updating its health order to reflect the changing guidance for such activities.

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“We know that much of what makes San Francisco special are the live performances and events where people can come together for music, sports and cultural performances, and graduations,” Mayor Breed said in the release. “We’ve all been missing these events over the last year, and we are excited
for this step and what lies ahead, but we all need to keep doing our part to put safety first. That means getting people the vaccine as fast as possible and ensuring everyone remains vigilant in keeping our case numbers low.”

As in the past, San Francisco has generally aligned with what is allowed by state guidelines with some additional local safety modifications. San Francisco plans to allow up to the maximum capacity of 35% for indoor ticketed and seated events and performances at venues with an approved health and safety plan, so long as California social distancing guidelines can be maintained and all participants remain masked except when actively eating or drinking in their assigned seats and show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

The release said for venues operating at 15% capacity or less for events with no more than 200 people, an approved health and safety plan and proof of vaccination or a negative test will not be required. City officials say they will work with stakeholders from industries impacted by the new guidance to develop the finer points of its local guidelines for both indoor ticketed performances as well as indoor meetings and private events to ensure they are clear and implementable with safety precautions within the industry context.

Health officials acknowledged that a key criteria for resuming indoor live events and expanded social gatherings will be a stable or declining rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, noting that a surge in cases and hospitalizations could require a pause or rollback of allowed activities.

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More information on the resumption of indoor live performances and events is available on the San Francisco COVID-19 website.