California Stay-at-Home order lifted allowing San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area counties to finally reopen

Johanna Miyaki


Monday January 25, 2021 - In a press conference this afternoon, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, “We expect San Francisco to return to the Purple tier.”

The Purple Tier (widespread tier) is when a county reports a weekly average of more than seven new daily cases, per 100K. It also has a weekly average of 8% positivity rate (or more).

Key sectors in San Francisco will reopen Thursday, January 28, as allowed by the State’s purple tier, with some additional safety precautions given the City’s high case rate

The following activities may be reopened/allowed to resume:

  • Personal Services. Indoor and outdoor personal services establishments, including hair and nail salons, barbers, tattoo, piercing, and massage services may reopen, but facial coverings are required to be worn at all times. Services that would necessitate the removal of facial coverings are not allowed at this point.
  • Outdoor Dining. Outdoor dining may resume. It is limited to up to 6 people total from up to two households at a table. Per State requirements, barriers between tables can no longer serve as an alternative to distancing tables 6 feet or more. Live entertainment is allowed except for singing or brass or wind instruments.
  • Outdoor Museums and Zoos. Outdoor operations for museums and zoos may resume, though zoos are capped at 50% capacity not including personnel. Concessions are allowed under the guidance of retail or outdoor dining according to the type of concessions.
  • Outdoor Family Entertainment Centers. Family entertainment such as skate parks, batting cages, miniature golf, kart racing, and laser tag or paintball may resume outdoor operations. Roller and ice skating rinks may operate at 25% capacity. Concessions are allowed under the guidance of retail or outdoor dining according to the type of concessions.
  • Open Air Boats and Busses. Open air boats and busses may operate outdoor operations of up to 12 passengers or physically distanced groups of 12, if social distancing can be maintained between groups. Concessions are allowed under the guidance of retail or outdoor dining according to the type of concessions.
  • Small Gatherings. Members of up to 3 households with a maximum of 12 people total may gather outdoors if social distance can be maintained and no food or drink is being consumed. If food or drink is being consumed, only members from two households of up to 6 people total is allowed. 
  • Indoor Fitness. 1:1 personal training is allowed to resume indoors with no more than 3 people, including the customer, the trainer and a support staff.
  • Indoor Funerals. Indoor funerals may take place with up to 12 people.

The following activities may expand their operating capacity:

  • Grocery Stores. Standalone grocery stores may operate at 50% customer capacity, not including personnel, up from 35%.
  • Retail. All retail including low-contact retail services such as dog groomers, shoe, electronics and similar repair services may operate at 25% customer capacity, not including personnel, up from 20%. For enclosed shopping malls, any common areas and food courts must remain closed. 
  • Hotels and Lodging. Hotels and lodging may accept reservations for tourist use from in-state and out of state guests. Out of Bay Area guests are required to quarantine for 10 days and must make a reservation for 10 days or longer in order to do so. Indoor gyms, meeting rooms, ballrooms and dining must remain closed, though outdoor dining can resume and room service can continue.
  • Outdoor Fitness. Removes the 12-person cap on outdoor fitness so long as social distancing can be met, and increases the fitness class cap to 25.
  • Youth sports. Youth sports without spectators are allowed if it is part of a childcare or out of school time (OST) program or part of an organized and supervised youth sports program. Additionally, low-contact youth sports that are allowed by the state in the purple tier may resume such as dancing, biking, no-contact martial arts, lawn bowling, or bocce ball. Distancing and face coverings must be in place at all times.
  • Outdoor Recreation. Up to three households may engage in recreational activities that allow social distancing, including low-contact sports such as hiking, biking, dancing, and including those that share equipment such as balls and Frisbees.
  • Golf and Tennis. Expands to allow foursomes for golf, but limits to one household per cart and requires staggered tee times. Expands to allow doubles for tennis limited to members of one household per team. Pickleball remains limited to singles per State requirements.
  • Outdoor Religious and Political Gatherings. Removes the 200-person cap to allow religious and political activities to take place unrestricted as long as social distancing can be maintained.

Mayor Breed tweeted earlier today: "I'm excited we're able to do this, and I know that it will provide some relief to small businesses and workers that have been really struggling for months now. But this pandemic is not over. We have to keep doing the things we know help keep our cases under control."

State reopening will vary from county to county and will include modifications, such as required face coverings, social distancing guidelines and increased sanitation, etc.

The State of Califirnia Guidelines at this time are as follows:

  • Retail stores: Open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Shopping malls: Open indoors at 25% capacity, closed food courts/common areas
  • Personal care/grooming: Open indoors
  • Museums, zoos & aquariums: Open outdoors only
  • Places of worship: Open outdoors only
  • Movie theatres: Open outdoors only
  • Hotels/lodging: Open
  • Gyms/fitness centers: Open outdoors only
  • Restaurants: Outdoor dining/takeout only
  • Wineries: Outdoor only
  • Bars/breweries/distilleries: Closed
  • Family entertainment centers (mini golfing, batting cages, etc): Outdoor only
  • Cardrooms: Outdoor only
  • Offices: Remote
  • Pro sports: Open without live audiences
  • Amusement parks: Closed

CA Dept of Public Health tweeted today:

Today #California lifted the Regional Stay at Home Order statewide based on 4-week ICU projections for the three regions that had remained under the order. Here are the projections that led to today’s determination.


According to several local news outlets, Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to lift the statewide stay-at-home order today.

An email from the California Restaurant Association to members stating that Governor Newsom would lift Stay At Home orders tomorrow released late Sunday evening.


It is expected all counties will go back to the tier system with most regions under the most-restrictive purple tier — but allows for the reopening of outdoor dining and indoor salons at limited capacity.

It is being reported that Governor’s office is basing this decision off of four-week ICU projections — which are not public. California’s regional order requires a three week minimum shutdown when an area’s total ICU capacity falls below 15%.

This comes while CA reported over 24,0000 new Covid cases, 429 new deaths and nearly 19,000 hospitalizations yesterday and while SFO announced new travel restrictions as well.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed is said to be holding a press briefing around 1:15 p.m. today along with San Francisco Health Director Grant Colfax.

A spokesperson from the California Department of Public Health released a statement Sunday that said the state is seeing “promising signs” and officials will provide an update on Monday.

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Covering news and telling stories from beautiful San Francisco and beyond if the story takes me there! More than Human Interest stories, I will share stories about Interesting Humans. Not just Breaking News but news that matters to you, to the local community and the world we share. Follow me here on News Break! ~ Johanna Miyaki

San Francisco, CA

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