Check if a business can be open

During the pandemic, many businesses in San Francisco must close. See what businesses can operate.

What to do

See updates

On April 15, 2021, SF reopened more businesses within the State’s Orange Tier.

See what’s changed.

Check status of business types

See what business activities are allowed to continue under the Public Health Order

Allowed businesses must follow certain rules to continue operating, such as limiting their maximum capacity.

Accounting services

Open as an essential business, for compliance with non-elective, legally required activities or related to death or incapacitation.

After school programs

Open for all children. See more information about schools, childcare, and youth programs.

Appliance or cell phone repair shops

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Aquariums

Open indoors up to 50% normal capacity, with everyone being able to stay 6 feet apart. See museum guidance.

Art galleries

Can open indoors up to 50% normal capacity, with everyone being able to stay 6 feet apart. See indoor retail guidance.

Auto dealerships

Open as an outdoor business, delivery, and indoor retail.

Auto supply and repair shops

Open as an essential business. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Banks and credit unions

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Includes related financial institutions, including money lenders, check cashing services, and financing services at pawn shops (by appointment only).

Bars (where no meals provided)

Outdoor bars can open, with patrons at different tables 6 feet apart. Maximum 8 people to a table.

Indoor bars are closed if they are not serving a meal.

See restaurant guidance.

Bicycle supply and repair shops

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Body waxing studios

Open outdoors with customers stationed 6 feet apart. Open indoors up to 50% capacity. See guidance for personal cares services.

Bookstores

Open for curbside and indoor retail, if open to the street or sidewalk. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Stores enclosed in malls must follow shopping mall rules.

Breweries (where no meals provided)

Outdoor breweries can open, with patrons at different tables 6 feet apart. Maximum 8 people to a table.

Indoor breweries are closed if they are not serving a meal.

See restaurant guidance.

Cannabis 

Retailers open for takeout, delivery, and indoor retail, up to 50% capacity. Consumption lounges closed, even for storefront retailers that are open.

Other cannabis businesses may be open to support retailers.

Carwashes

Open as an outdoor business.

Charter boats (fishing and sightseeing)

Open, with everyone 6 feet apart. See guidance for larger tour groups.

Chefs

Open as an in-home service. See guidance for safer in-home services during the pandemic.

Childcare

Open for all children. See more information about schools, childcare, and youth programs.

Climbing gyms

Open outdoors with people 6 feet apart, including outdoor classes for up to 25 people.

Open indoors up to 25% normal capacity for climbers, with everyone being able to stay 6 feet apart. Locker rooms can open. Steam rooms and saunas must stay closed.

Indoor fitness classes open, maximum 25% capacity up to 100 people. Non-aerobic classes (stretching, gentle yoga, meditation) can have participants 6 feet apart. Aerobic classes must have participants 12 feet apart. Aerobic classes can place stationary equipment 6 feet apart, if at least 1 ventilation measure is used. 

See detailed guidance for gyms and fitness centers.

Clothing and shoe stores

Open for curbside and indoor retail, if open to the street or sidewalk. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Stores enclosed in malls must follow shopping mall rules.

Concert venues

Outdoor live performances are allowed for up to 50% attendee capacity. Each household group must be 6 feet apart, with assigned seating. Suites and boxes up to 25% capacity. 

For outdoor events with more than 4,000 people (no food or drinks served) or 100 people (food and drinks served), in-state attendees must show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. Attendees from outside California must show proof of vaccination.

Allowed indoors up to 35% capacity for seated attendees, in household groups at least 6 feet apart. Suites and boxes up to 25% capacity and 3 households. 

For indoor events with more than 200 people or 15% capacity, in-state attendees must show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. Attendees from outside California must show proof of vaccination.

Both indoor and outdoor venues can have special sections with 100% capacity, if everyone 16 and older shows proof of vaccination. Youth under 16 must show a negative COVID-19 test.

See detailed guidance about seated live events and performances with in-person audiences.

Construction

All construction projects can continue, as long as they follow safety requirements.

Find out the safety requirements of your specific construction project.

Convenience stores

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less). See guidance for indoor retail.

Convention centers

Open outdoors up to 100 ticketed attendees, with assigned seating. Outdoor events can have up to 300 attendees, if they show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

Allowed indoors up to 150 ticketed attendees, with assigned seating. All attendees of indoor events must show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. Attendees from outside California must show proof of vaccination.

See detailed guidance for conferences, meetings, and receptions.

Dance studios

Open outdoors with people 6 feet apart, including outdoor classes.

Indoor fitness classes open, maximum 25% capacity up to 100 people. Non-aerobic classes (stretching, gentle yoga, meditation) can have participants 6 feet apart. Aerobic classes must have participants 12 feet apart. Aerobic classes can place stationary equipment 6 feet apart if at least 1 ventilation measure is used.

Locker rooms can open. Steam rooms and saunas must stay closed.

See detailed guidance for gyms and fitness centers.

Day camps

Open for all children. See more information about schools, childcare, and youth programs.

Delivery services

Open as an essential business. See guidance for delivery services.

Distilleries (where no meals provided)

Outdoor distilleries can open, with patrons at different tables 6 feet apart. Maximum 8 people to a table.

Indoor distilleries are closed if they are not serving meals.

See restaurant guidance.

Doctors and dentists

Open as an essential business. Get healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Health Order does not advise or encourage healthcare workers over 60 to stop working.

Dog walkers

Open as personal household or curbside service.

Drive-in theaters

Open, up to 100 cars 6 feet apart. See guidance for drive-in gatherings.

Dry cleaners

Open as an essential service, up to 50% normal maximum capacity inside.

Electricians

Open as an essential service.

Electrologists

Open for indoor services only, up to 50% capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

Estheticians

Open outdoors with customers stationed 6 feet apart. Open indoors up to 50% capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

Exterminators

Open as an in-home service. See guidance for safer in-home services during the pandemic.

Family entertainment centers

Open outdoors. Allowed outdoor activities include playgrounds, skate parks, roller and ice skating, laser tag, paintball, batting cages, kart racing, and mini golf, without capacity limits. 

Ferris wheels, carousels, trampolines, and train rides open for 3 households per space, with each household 6 feet apart.

Open indoors up to 25% capacity, for group activities that are already distanced. Examples are bowling, billiards, and mini golf. One household per group. Capacity can increase to 50% capacity if everyone over 12 shows proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.

Activities where people mingle are still closed. Examples are arcade game centers, ice and roller skating rinks, and indoor playgrounds.

Farmers markets

Open as an essential business. See guidance for farmers markets.

Festivals

Outdoor music and art festivals without assigned seating are allowed, for up to 50 attendees. Each household group must be 6 feet apart. See guidance for festivals without assigned seating.

If the festival is outdoors with assigned seating, see detailed guidance about seated live events and performances with in-person audiences.

If the festival is indoors with assigned seating, see detailed guidance for conferences, meetings, and receptions.

Film productions

Allowed indoors and outdoors. Up to 50 people can be at one outdoor location. Indoor productions must have testing and other safety protocols, or an approved health and safety plan. Craft services are allowed outdoors and indoors, following dining rules.

Fire stations

Open as an essential business.

Florists

Open for curbside and indoor retail, if open to the street or sidewalk. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Stores enclosed in malls must follow shopping mall rules.

Food banks

Open as an essential business.

Food cultivation (farming, livestock, fishing)

Open as an essential business.

Funeral homes, mortuaries, cemeteries, and crematoriums

Open to transport or prepare remains. Can hold funerals inside, up to 50% capacity. Outdoor funerals can be held, with all attendees 6 feet apart. Only 1 service per space at a time.

For receptions, see detailed guidance for conferences, meetings, and receptions.

Garden centers

Open as outdoor business and indoor retail up to 50% capacity.

Gas stations

Open as an essential business.

Government services

Open. See what City services are open.

Grocery stores

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 25% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less). See guidance for grocery stores.

Gyms and fitness centers

Open outdoors with people 6 feet apart, including outdoor classes.

Open indoors up to 25% normal capacity for patrons, with everyone being able to stay 6 feet apart. Locker rooms can open. Steam rooms and saunas must stay closed.

Indoor fitness classes open, maximum 25% capacity up to 100 people. Non-aerobic classes (stretching, gentle yoga, meditation) can have participants 6 feet apart. Aerobic classes must have participants 12 feet apart. Aerobic classes can place stationary equipment 6 feet apart if at least 1 ventilation measure is used.

See detailed guidance for gyms and fitness centers.

Hair salons and barbershops

Open outdoors with customers stationed 6 feet apart. Open indoors up to 50% customer capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

Handypersons and general contractors

Open as an essential business and in-home service. See guidance for safer in-home services during the pandemic.

Hardware stores

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less). See guidance for hardware stores.

Home and furnishing stores

Open for curbside and indoor retail, if open to the street or sidewalk. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Stores enclosed in malls must follow shopping mall rules.

Home-based care for adults, children, and pets

Open as an essential business. See guidance for safer in-home services.

Hospitals and urgent care

Open as an essential service.  Get healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic

Hotels and short-term rentals (Airbnb and hostels)

Open for tourists who are registered guests, with no other visitors.

Short-term rentals must be for entire homes. See guidance for hotels.

Housekeepers

Open as an in-home service. See guidance for safer in-home services during the pandemic.

Indoor playgrounds (bounce centers, ball pits, laser tag)

Closed.

Jewelry stores

Open for curbside and indoor retail, if open to the street or sidewalk. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Stores enclosed in malls must follow shopping mall rules.

Job training businesses

Open as an essential business, to help people find jobs with essential businesses.

Landscapers

Open as an outdoor business.

Laundromats and laundry services

Open as an essential business.

Legal services

Open as an essential business, for compliance with non-elective, legally required activities or related to death or incapacitation.

Libraries

Open for curbside service. See more information about SFPL to Go.

Liquor stores

Open for curbside and indoor retail, if open to the street or sidewalk. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Stores enclosed in malls must follow shopping mall rules.

Live theaters

Live performances outdoors are allowed for up to 50% attendees with assigned seating. Each household group must be 6 feet apart. 

Allowed indoors up to 35% capacity for seated attendees, in household groups at least 6 feet apart. Suites and boxes up to 25% capacity and 3 households. 

For indoor events with more than 200 people or over 15% capacity, in-state attendees must show a negative COVID-19 test (at most 72 hours old) or proof of vaccination. Attendees from outside California must show proof of vaccination.

Indoor venues can have special sections with 100% capacity, if everyone inside that section shows proof of vaccination. 

See detailed guidance about seated live events and performances with in-person audiences.

Massage therapy studios

Open outdoors with customers stationed 6 feet apart. Open indoors up to 50% capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

Medical supply

Open as an essential business.

Movie theaters

Open up to 50% capacity, up to 200 people for each theater screen. Food and concessions can be sold. See movie theater guidance.

Open as drive-in theaters, up to 100 cars 6 feet apart.

Moving companies

Open as an essential business.

Museums

Outdoor museums can open.

Open indoors up to 50% normal visitor capacity, with everyone being able to stay 6 feet apart. See museum guidance.

Nail salons

Open outdoors with customers stationed 6 feet apart. Open indoors up to 50% normal customer capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

News media (newspapers, television, radio, photography)

Open as an essential business.

Nightclubs

Closed.

Non-profit organizations

Open to provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.

Notaries

Open as an essential business, for compliance with non-elective, legally required activities or related to death or incapacitation.

Offices

Offices can operate up to 25% capacity, if everyone can stay 6 feet apart. Only staff who cannot work from home should use the office.

See guidance for offices.

Pet groomers

Open for curbside pickup and dropoff or as an in-home service.

Pharmacies

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less). See guidance for pharmacies.

Piercing shops

Open for indoor service only, up to 50% capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

Places of worship (churches, synagogues, templates, mosques)

Open indoors up to 50% normal attendee capacity. Open outdoors, as long as people are 6 feet apart. See guidance for places of worship.

Playgrounds

Open outdoors, with households staying 6 feet apart. See public health guidance about playgrounds.

Plumbing services

Open as an essential business. See guidance for hiring in-home services.

Police stations

Open as an essential service.

Post offices

Open as an essential retail service. Maximum 50% normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Real estate services

Open as an essential business. Includes service providers that enable residential transactions, such as rentals, leases, and home sales. Real estate inspectors, appraisers, and photographers can continue working. Stagers can work if there is no one in the home.

Real estate agents may only show homes to potential residents over video. 

When a virtual showing is not feasible, one agent may show a home in person only to a maximum of 2 people. Those 2 people must be from the same household. The current occupant must not still live in the home. Everyone involved must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart. Realtors should let in fresh outside air, like by opening windows and doors. 

Rental cars

Open as an essential retail business. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Restaurants

Open for take-out and delivery.

Open for outdoor dining, with patrons at service tables 6 feet apart. Maximum 8 people to a table.

Open indoors up to 50% normal customer capacity, maximum 200 patrons, with patrons at service tables 6 feet apart. Maximum 6 people from 3 households to a table.

See restaurant guidance.

Retailers

Open for curbside and indoor retail, if open to the street or sidewalk. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Stores enclosed in malls must follow shopping mall rules.

Rideshare (including bikeshares and scooters)

Open as an essential business.

Schools

Grades TK to 12 can reopen with approval from the Health Officer, which includes an approved safety plan and a site assessment. Middle and high schools can apply to open for outdoor classes. Check the school reopening dashboard to see where schools are in the process.

Segway tours

Open. See guidance for outdoor recreational groups.

Shipping services

Open as an essential business.

Shopping malls

Open indoors with an approved safety plan. Maximum 50% of normal customer capacity.

Food courts can open up to 50% normal customer capacity, maximum 200 people.

Short-term lodging rentals

Open only for rentals of the entire home. See details for hotels and lodging.

Skin care services

Open outdoors with customers stationed 6 feet apart. Open indoors up to 50% normal customer capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

Smoking or hookah lounges

Closed as lounges. Can open as indoor retail. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Sporting goods stores

Open for curbside and indoor retail. Maximum 50% normal customer capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Sports

Outdoor and indoor sports facilities are open, golf, tennis, and pickleball. Outdoor classes are allowed.

See details about staying active during the pandemic.

Outdoor professional sporting events are allowed for up to 50% attendee capacity. Each household group must be 6 feet apart, with assigned seating. Suites and boxes up to 25% capacity. 

For outdoor events with more than 4,000 people (no food or drinks served) or 100 people (food and drinks served), in-state attendees must show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. Attendees from outside California must show proof of vaccination.

Indoor professional sporting events are allowed up to 35% capacity for seated attendees, in household groups at least 6 feet apart. Suites and boxes up to 25% capacity and 3 households. 

For indoor events with more than 200 people or 15% capacity, in-state attendees must show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination. Attendees from outside California must show proof of vaccination.

Both indoor and outdoor venues can have special sections with 100% capacity, if everyone 16 and older shows proof of vaccination. Youth under 16 must show a negative COVID-19 test.

See detailed guidance about seated live events and performances with in-person audiences.

Supply chain businesses (manufacturing, warehousing, logistics)

Open as an essential business. See guidance for warehousing and logistics. See guidance for manufacturing.

Swimming pools

Open outdoors, up to 50% normal maximum capacity, not including staff. 

Indoor pools can reopen up to 25% capacity, not including staff. 

Locker rooms can be open. No saunas, steam rooms, or hot tubs allowed.

See guidance for sports facilities.

Tattoo establishments

Open for indoor service only, up to 50% normal customer capacity. See guidance for personal care services.

Toy stores

Open for curbside and indoor retail Maximum 50% customer normal capacity, or however many can be inside while 6 feet apart (whichever is less).

Walking tours

Open. See guidance for outdoor recreational groups.

Weddings (ceremonies only)

Open as outdoor gatherings. Allowed as a religious ceremony outside, with attendees 6 feet apart.

Open as an indoor religious ceremony, up to 50% attendee capacity. See guidance for places of worship.

For receptions, see detailed guidance for conferences, meetings, and receptions.

Wineries (without food)

Outdoor wineries can open, with patrons at different tables 6 feet apart. Maximum 8 people to a table.

Indoor wineries are closed, if they are not serving meals.

See restaurant guidance.

Yoga studios

Open outdoors with people 6 feet apart, including outdoor classes.

Open indoors up to 25% normal capacity, with everyone being able to stay 6 feet apart. This includes locker rooms.

Non-aerobic yoga classes are allowed inside, with participants 6 feet apart. Aerobic classes allowed inside, up to 25% capacity with participants 12 feet apart. Aerobic classes can place stationary equipment 6 feet apart if at least 1 ventilation measure is used.

See detailed guidance for gyms and fitness centers.

Zoos

Open for outdoor exhibits, with visitors 6 feet apart.

Open indoors up to 50% normal maximum visitor capacity, with everyone being able to stay 6 feet apart. See museum guidance.

Special cases

Closed businesses can only do minimum basic operations

Businesses that are not allowed to reopen must cease all activities at facilities located within the City, except minimum basic operations. 

Operations that can continue include:

  • Inventory, ensure security, process payroll, and employee benefits
  • Activities that help employees work from their homes
  • Sanitation, including janitorial

All businesses can have their employees work from home.

Enforcement

If you see a business or organization that might be violating the order and endangering the public or its employees, report a health order violation.

The Public Health Order is a legal order issued under the authority of California law. You are required to comply if you do not fall within the exemptions specified in the order. It is a misdemeanor crime not to follow the order, although the intent is not for anyone to get into trouble.

Appeal a City decision

The City may direct you to temporarily shut down or change your business operations.

To be reconsidered, email HealthOrderAppeals@sfcityatty.org with:

  • Business name
  • Street address
  • Email and phone number of business manager or contact
  • The directive the business was given
  • Name of the City official who gave you the directive
  • Explanation of why you’re appealing
  • References to the relevant provisions in the Public Health Order.

Get help

Phone

311

If you see a business open that should not be open, call 311.

Last updated April 15, 2021