San Francisco to Reopen Dining Rooms Soon

This article was written by Ben Coley with FSR Magazine.

San Francisco is moving forward with indoor dining plans, but they won’t be implemented until after the end of September. 

When that time comes, restaurants may allow 25 percent capacity, or up to 100 people. The San Francisco Department of Public Health is coordinating health and safety guidelines with the local restaurant industry to prepare for the reopening. 

In mid-March, the city issued a shelter-in-place order, and restaurants were forced to operate via off-premises until June 12 when outdoor dining was allowed. Indoor dining was supposed to follow in July, but those plans were put on hold indefinitely because of rising COVID cases. 

In late August, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a color-coded tier system that determined a county’s risk level—widespread (purple), substantial (red), moderate (orange), and minimal (yellow)—and what businesses would be allowed under said risk category. The ultimate decision on whether to reopen lies with the individual county. 

San Francisco is in the red category, which does allow indoor dining with limitations. However, the city said it will begin indoor dining once it moves to the orange category, which won’t happen before the end of the month. The city did caution that if COVID cases and hospitalizations don’t remain stable, it may stay in the red category. 

Although San Francisco would be allowed to reopen dining rooms right now under California law, the city said that it “will continue on a reopening path based on its local health indicators and unique challenges and successes of our local reopening.”

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