Guidance on safer social interactions during the pandemic

You should still stay home to avoid COVID-19. If you do meet loved ones, think about how to stay healthy.

The best way to not get yourself or others sick is to stay home. Try to talk to your friends online or over the phone.

But seeing friends can be important for your mental well-being. If you do meet with others, you can reduce your risk for getting or spreading COVID-19.

Think about the risk of meeting in person

Every time you meet with others, you increase your risk of getting COVID-19 and passing it on to your household. The more household groups you meet with, the greater the risk. Consider how much the social event means to you.

Consider the risk to yourself, the people you live with, and the people you will see. Older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions are most in danger if they get COVID-19. The safest way to see them is to talk on the phone or online.

Consider whether cases in San Francisco are increasing, staying flat, or decreasing. It is safer to see people when cases are low or decreasing. 

If you feel sick, stay home and do not see people. You can get tested for COVID-19 at various locations in SF.

Plan how you will see people safely

Make a plan with your household and the people you are going to see.

Avoid indoor activities. Outdoor activities are much safer.

If you’re outside, you should still stay 6 feet apart and wear face coverings if you’re around people you don’t live with. Have safer outdoor gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meeting people indoors is much riskier, and should be avoided. The virus can build up inside, with more people talking and breathing.

If you must see people indoors, you must always wear a face covering. Make sure you’re in a room with open windows or good ventilation. Try not to touch surfaces inside. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if you do touch any surfaces. Have cleaning supplies ready, so surfaces can be wiped down often. Try to avoid using other people’s bathrooms, if possible.

See what to expect when you visit businesses during the pandemic.


If you dine at a restaurant, it’s safest to only sit with people you live with. You are able to sit with up to 5 other people who don’t live with you. But the more people you meet, the more you expose yourself and them to COVID-19. 

Make reservations at the restaurant. Arrive on time, so you do not need to wait long.

Wear a face covering whenever you are not actively eating or drinking. Stay 6 feet apart from others.

Plan activities to minimize contact

Consider the length of time you interact. The longer people are together, the higher the risk of virus transmission. 

Hang out with as few people as possible. Try to only spend time with the same people. Keep groups you interact with small and stable. Remember who you meet. If someone in your group feels sick later, the City can help them get tested.

Try not to share food, drinks, or utensils. Each person should have their own, if possible.

Avoid sharing toys, bats, balls, or objects passed back and forth. Bring disinfecting wipes to sanitize anything that might be shared.

Avoid singing, chanting, or shouting.

See hygiene and cleaning tips about staying healthy during the pandemic.

After your meeting

See if you develop new symptoms

Get tested for COVID-19 if:

  • You have a fever over 100.4° Fahrenheit or 38.0° Celsius
  • You’re shivering a lot
  • You have a cough
  • It’s hard to breathe
  • You feel tired or sore
  • You can’t smell or taste anything
  • Your throat hurts
  • Your head hurts
  • You have a runny or stuffy nose
  • You have diarrhea, feel sick to your stomach, or are throwing up

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must follow isolation instructions.

If you test negative but still feel sick, stay home until it’s been 10 days since you felt sick.

If someone you met tests positive for COVID-19

You should quarantine for 14 days if you spent more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of that person.

Official guidance

See guidance from the Department of Public Health at 

Last updated November 22, 2020