San Francisco, CA

SF to lift mask requirements for boosted people in gyms, offices

Built in the Bay

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(SAN FRANCISCO) San Francisco lifted indoor mask requirements Tuesday for offices, gyms and other areas in which vaccinated people gather.

Critically, however, everyone going maskless in those specific settings must have already been boosted. Starting on Feb. 1, those who are fully vaccinated but not boosted will be required to keep their masks on in indoor settings.

Additionally, people who are unvaccinated can enter these settings, provided that they show proof of a negative test and wear a mask. The negative result must be within two days for a PCR test, one day for an antigen test and must be verified by a healthcare provider.

This comes as the omicron surge appears to be slowing in the Bay Area. It could indicate that health officials are leaning towards easing mask restrictions in large metropolitan areas like San Francisco that have high vaccination rates.

San Francisco is the first Bay Area metropolitan to lift indoor mask requirements for "stable cohorts." According to a definition provided by the San Francisco Chronicle, stable cohorts are identified as groups of 100 people or fewer where the population is recurrent and everyone is vaccinated.

The adjusted mask requirements also include "employee commuter vehicles, religious gatherings, indoor college classes and other gatherings of individuals who meet regularly."

Additionally, the city is loosening restrictions for indoor "mega-events" with 500 people or more. Starting Tuesday, unvaccinated people can enter or attend mega-events as long as they meet the aforementioned testing and mask requirements.

City health officials repeated that the lifting of mask requirements is due largely to the highly vaccinated population of San Francisco and would not be possible without highly dispersed vaccinations and boosters.

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