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SF To Enter “Orange Tier” March 24. Here’s What Can Reopen

Major relaxing of restrictions for live music & performances, indoor dining, bars, movie theaters, museums and more
By - posted 3/19/2021 No Comment

If San Francisco enters the orange tier on March 24th as expected, the city announced that they are reopening more and loosening more restrictions including a further expansion of indoor and outdoor dining and outdoor bars (even without serving food) will be allowed to open for the first time in a year.

Update – San Francisco officially announced it is entering the orange tier as of 8am on March 24, one day earlier than originally reported

Mayor Breed said the move to orange is “almost certain.” This will be the widest reopening since the lockdown allowed and restrictions began. San Francisco is expected to follow San Mateo county as the second Bay Area county in the orange tier.

Reopening Wednesday, March 24 at 8am

Guidelines are not final until SF officially reassigned to Orange tier by California Department of Health

Live Music & Performances  – NEW

  • Outdoor / allowed – Face coverings can be removed if singers and performers are 12+ feet from audience. Audience must be 6 feet away from other households. No cap on audience numbers other than what is normally allowed
  • Indoor / allowed with major restrictions – Everyone must have face covering on, even singers and performers. People cheering/singing indoors must remain at least 12 feet away from other households. No audience cap other than occupancy limits.

Arts/Music/Performances Outdoors NEW

  • Allowed for up to 50 people
  • Event must be organized and supervised
  • Organizer must submit a health and safety plan first

Retail / Grocery Stores / Food Courts

  • Retail can open with 50% capacity (no eating or drinking allowed in stores)
  • Food courts can open at 50% capacity with maximum 200 people

Outdoor Dining

  • Tables “generally” required to be spaced at least 6 feet apart
  • NEW – Limit to 6 people per table (no household number limit)
  • NEW – Two table reservations are allowed, but no mingling between tables
  • NEW – Restaurants can now serve beer/wine/alcohol without meal being required.
  • NEW – Live music & entertainment allowed

Indoor Dining

  • Tables must be at least 6 feet apart
  • NEW – 50% occupancy allowed (max 200 people)
  • NEW – Limit to 6 people per table from up to three households
  • NEW – Television allowed
  • NEW – Live music & live entertainment allowed
  • NEW – Indoor dining must close by 11pm (extension of 1 hour)
  • NEW – No more two-hour limit on seating

Bars / Outdoors NEW

For the first time since March 2020 bars without food plus wineries, breweries and distilleries are now allowed to open outdoors

  • NEW – Open outdoors only
  • NEW – Table service required and no more than six people per table
  • NEW – No meals are required to serve alcohol
  • NEW – Patrons must be seated at table and must consume beverages only at table
  • NEW – Guests cannot mingle between tables.

Fitness Classes & Gyms

  • Indoor gyms can open at 25% capacity
  • Indoor group classes can open at 25% capacity (max 100 people).  Households must be 12 feet from other households
  • Outdoor gyms/fitness classes – no more 25 person max, but 6 foot distancing required
  • Outdoor pools open at 50% capacity


  • Indoor gyms & fitness centers may open at up to 25% capacity
  • Saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs remain closed.

Personal Services / Salons

  • Open indoors at 50% capacity
  • Mask removal allowed temporarily as long as the care provider wears well-fitted mask

Museums / Zoos / Aquariums

  • Open at up to 50% capacity indoors
  • Outdoors allowed with no capacity limits
  • Interactive exhibits allowed with sanitation and distancing limits

Movie Theaters (Indoors)

  • Up to 50% capacity (max 200 people)
  • Food & drinks allowed inside only if there is in seat delivery service, or if patrons purchase their food but only consume while sitting in their seats (i.e. no taking mask off in the lobby and eating popcorn). Must be 6-feet between households.

Non-Essential Offices

  • Open up to 25% capacity, but 6-foot distance between people required

Indoor Family Fun Centers 

  • Bowling, Pool Halls, Indoor Mini Golf open at 50% capacity
  • Arcades, indoor ice rinks, indoor roller rinks and indoor playgrounds are not allowed open in orange tier

Drive In Movies & Events

  • Limited to 100 vehicles (one household per vehicle)
  • Live performances allowed with more than six performers

This is an evolving news story and details may change. The updated health orders will be posted at sfdph.org closer to March 25.