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SF’s COVID Restrictions Expire at 12:01am on June 15

Except for some narrow exceptions for “mega events” most of SF goes back to “normal” on Tuesday
By - posted 6/9/2021 No Comment

If you’re up past midnight Monday night, the city might seem a little different.

San Francisco to Fully Reopen Businesses and Activities Aligning With the State’s Reopening Plans Beginning June 15

Thanks to San Francisco’s successful COVID vaccine roll out and decreasing cases and community spread, the City intends to align with the State Beyond the Blueprint guidance that removes nearly all local COVID-19 related restrictions beginning June 15, with some narrow exceptions for “mega events.”

San Francisco plans to release the finalized health order on Friday, June 11th to be effective as of 12:01 am on Tuesday, June 15th.

Mayor London N. Breed and Health Officer Susan Philip today announced that starting Tuesday, June 15, San Francisco will fully reopen and eliminate capacity limits and almost all local restrictions on business operations in alignment with the State’s Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors – effective June 15.

The Basics

  • Will I have to wear a mask anymore?  The updated San Francisco Health Order will allow fully vaccinated people to not wear a mask except where required by fed/state/local rules or if a local business requires it.
  • Where does SF differ from California and the CDC? The mayor stated that there will still be some temporary restrictions for large-scale indoor events (5,000+) and large-scale outdoor events (10,000+) and in certain settings like healthcare facilities, shelters and skilled nursing facilities.
  • What about Muni and BART? Masks will still be required on public transportation through September.
  • What about masks indoors at work? This is unclear at the moment due to OSHA rules to protect the unvaccinated. As of 6/4/21 the latest rules were that if you work indoors with anyone who is unvaccinated, you’ll likely need to still wear a mask.
  • Can businesses require masks? Yes. Any business can choose to require you to wear a mask.
  • Can businesses require proof of vaccination? San Francisco says that that businesses may require proof of vaccination, but it is unclear whether this may violate any HIPAA protections.

This is an evolving news story and details may change.

Based on draft guidelines that the State has released in advance of the June 15 reopening as well as masking guidance issued today by the State, San Francisco has determined that it will fully align with the State plan with some limited exceptions pertaining to extremely large events and specific institutional settings with heightened risk, such as acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and jails. In these instances, additional health and safety requirements may be implemented in San Francisco.

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Businesses are encouraged to review the State’s framework in order to prepare for the changes. With the impending elimination of the State’s tiered reopening system and local health directives for industry sectors, it is expected that many aspects of San Francisco businesses will return to usual operations for attendees, customers, and guests. Most notably, health order changes include the elimination of local capacity limits as well as local requirements for physical distancing, masking, and operational procedures and protocols in almost all instances.

With the exception of schools, childcare, and youth activities, San Francisco will lift much of its health order sector-specific restrictions and rescind all business sector directives. State and Federal entities are expected to continue to put forward public health guidance. Additionally, some regulatory agencies like the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) and industry specific regulatory agencies such as Alcohol Beverage Control, California’s Child Care Licensing Program, etc., will maintain requirements related to the prevention of COVID-19 in the workplace and other specific contexts.

San Francisco’s reopening and recovery is, in large part, due to the availability and successful rollout of vaccines in San Francisco. The effectiveness and availability of COVID-19 vaccines has dramatically driven down case rates, hospitalizations and community spread. Currently, 79% of San Franciscans eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination have received at least one dose; and as of June 7, our case rate was 1.5 per 100,000, 25% lower than the state and representing a 96% decrease in San Francisco COVID-19 diagnoses since January. Likewise, hospitalizations are at their lowest point since the pandemic began.

The Public Health Department encourages all those eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible, so that San Francisco and the entire Bay Area can safely reopen. The public can make an appointment or find a drop-in site by calling (628) 652-2700 or by going to sf.gov/get-vaccinated.

Because of San Francisco’s identity as a national and international destination, and because the pandemic is less controlled elsewhere, the San Francisco Department of Public Health will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test at indoor mega events of over 5,000 people; unvaccinated attendees must wear face coverings per state requirements. If only self-attestation is required, all attendees must wear face coverings.

Additionally, in very high-risk congregate living settings such as skilled nursing facilities, acute care hospitals, homeless shelters, and jails, San Francisco will require that personnel in these facilities are vaccinated. This requirement will go into effect after the United States Food and Drug Administration gives full approval to one of the COVID-19 vaccines which currently have emergency use authorization.

In school, youth and childcare settings, San Francisco intends to align its face covering requirements with the State and otherwise maintain its existing guidance while it awaits anticipated further reopening guidance from the CDC and State. Over the coming days, San Francisco will review the State’s Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors guide as well as the Masking Guidance that the State issued earlier today to consider any additional guidance or requirements it feels are necessary to protect residents, workers, and visitors and safeguard our reopening and economic recovery.