SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials in San Francisco on Wednesday provided details on capacity limits and safety protocols for indoor live-audience events and other gatherings to resume starting Thursday, April 15.
Officials had announced last week that they planned to allow indoor live events to resume on April 15. The release issued by Mayor London Breed and SF Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax outlined the planned expansion of existing rules for outdoor live-audience events, performances and other activities including private events such as conferences and receptions.READ MORE: Project Home: Federal Court Strikes Down CDC Eviction Moratorium; What Does It Mean For Bay Area Renters?
In alignment with California guidelines, the city is also expanding the number of individuals allowed to participate in indoor and outdoor social gatherings, as well as loosening some restrictions on other activities, including dining, outdoor bars, retail and recreation.
Under the new health order, indoor ticketed and seated events will be allowed to operate at up to 35% capacity as long as attendees provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before entering the venue. Outdoor venues may expand capacity up to 50%.
Both indoor and outdoor venues will have the option of creating vaccinated-only sections with relaxed rules. If venues don’t want to require vaccines or tests for entry, they will still be allowed to operate, but with lower capacities.
For venues operating at 15% capacity or less with no more than 200 people and without vaccinated-only sections, an approved Health and Safety Plan and proof of vaccination or a negative test will not be required.
Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required by all participants if the outdoor event includes 4,000 or more audience members, or 100 or more audience members and food and beverages are served. In all cases, patrons must wear facial coverings for the duration of the event, except for times when they are eating or drinking.
Private meetings or receptions may resume indoors with up to 150 people or outdoors for up to 300. Senior and adult day care centers will also be able to reopen to 25% capacity.READ MORE: COVID Recovery: Bay Area Restaurants Struggle To Hire Staff Ahead Of Likely Big Mother's Day Weekend
Additionally, outdoor dining and bars will expand to allow eight people per table. More details are available in the release issued by the mayor’s office.
The announcement noted that many of the resuming activities will be allowed to reopen because of updated guidelines recently released by state health officials. With some exceptions, San Francisco will align with the California’s guidelines under the Orange Tier. New and expanded businesses and activities are allowed to resume starting Thursday, April 15, at 8 a.m. as long as they comply with required capacity limits and other safety protocols.
“San Francisco is continuing to reopen and this latest round of activities and events that can start to resume is an exciting step for our city,” said Mayor Breed in the announcement. “Throughout our response to COVID-19 and our reopening efforts, we’ve focused on moving forward in a way that protects public health, and we’re going to need everyone to keep doing their part to keep our community safe.”
San Francisco currently remains assigned to the orange tier on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, but the city’s COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and other health equity metrics have remained stable over the past several weeks. A key component for the continuation of the expanded businesses and activities will be a stable or declining rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Officials noted that the city may need to pause or rollback activities if data suggests that COVID-19 cases begin to significantly increase within the community.
“I want to thank the people of this great City for doing their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Grant Colfax. “Please keep up the good work. We are watching with growing concern at the variant-fueled surges taking place in other parts of the country and in Europe. The last thing we all want is to rollback our reopening.”
San Francisco has maintained a stable average between 30 and 40 new COVID-19 cases a day since early March and is currently averaging 35 new cases per day. Likewise, COVID-19 hospitalizations are also down significantly since February.MORE NEWS: Fire Crews Contain 15-Acre Vegetation Fire In Discovery Bay; Fireworks Suspected
City officials plan to post the revised health order with detailed requirements to its webpage by the end of the day Wednesday.