SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials in San Francisco on Monday confirmed that the city would follow the state’s guidance as far as the use of face coverings and general business operations for the planned June 15th removal of most COVID restrictions.

An announcement by Mayor London Breed and SF Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax stated that as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 15, San Francisco would implement the Safer Return Together Order to fully reopen for businesses and services in the city.

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San Francisco will follow the state’s Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors framework all instances other than small additional local requirements specific to mega events and high-risk institutional settings, city officials said.

Mega events, defined by the state as events involving over 10,000 people attending outside or 5,000 inside, are required to submit a health and safety plan 10 days prior to the event or ticket sales. The order requires that indoor mega events collect proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test if not everyone attending the event is fully masked.

According to a release issued by city government, with the exception of schools, childcare, out-of-school-time programs and guidance regarding isolation and quarantine, San Francisco’s local health directives guiding business behavior will be rescinded.

“San Francisco has come together like never before over the last year to confront this pandemic and protect public health, including an incredible effort to get the vaccine widely distributed in this City,” said Mayor Breed. “We have made real and necessary sacrifices, but now, with 80% of our eligible residents vaccinated, we can safely move forward with lifting restrictions on June 15.”

The mayor warned that COVID is not gone entirely and encouraged those residents who have not gotten the vaccine to get it as soon as possible.

According to the latest announcement, the Safer Return Together Order aligns with the California Department of Public Health Beyond the Blueprint framework to remove capacity limits on business and other sectors, local physical distancing requirements, and most other previous health and safety restrictions.

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Businesses will no longer be required to prepare and post social distancing protocols or in most instances submit health and safety plans; nor are they urged to encourage employees to work remotely.

Under California’s recently updated Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings, vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear facial coverings in most indoor or any outdoor settings, while unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks indoors.

“As we embark on the move to full reopening with the rest of the state, I am excited to see San Franciscans go about their lives safely and feeling hopeful,” said Dr. Colfax. “June 15th is the day that we celebrate our tremendous progress on taking the necessary steps to end the pandemic – by
getting vaccinated and continuing to get tested as needed.”

Under the Safer Return Together Order, businesses will still need to implement a process for screening personnel for COVID-19 symptoms as required by California, but this process can be determined by the business and no longer needs to be performed on-site.

Businesses also need to continue to report more than three positive COVID-19 cases to the Department of Health and will continue to post two new simplified signs, one posted publicly to support COVID-19 prevention practices, and one posted in employee break rooms sharing vaccination information.

In addition to the above general requirements, the Safer Return Together Order extends additional requirements for activities that pose specific health risks. Additionally, once one of the COVID-19 vaccines receives full authorization from the United State Food and Drug Administration, personnel in high-risk congregate living settings such as skilled nursing facilities, acute care hospitals, homeless shelters, and jails will be required to be vaccinated.

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Officials said the San Francisco will post templates for required signage as well as templates, FAQs, and other resources to help businesses as they reopen on its COVID-19 Business Resources page. In all other respects, the Safer Return Together Order defers to State and Federal guidelines.