Operate your business during the pandemic recovery

See best practices and public health guidance to keep your patrons and staff safe.

What to do

Download and post required signage

All SF businesses must post signage about COVID-19 prevention and getting vaccinated.

You can download sample flyers and posters from our outreach toolkit.

Protect employee health

Encourage staff to get vaccinated

Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and others. Fully vaccinated staff with no symptoms do not need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19. 

Have staff stay home if sick

Ask your employees to check for any COVID-19 symptoms before reporting to work. You can refer to our PDF or online screener to help your employees make decisions about going to work.

Make sure that employees do not come to work sick. Do not treat employees differently if they use sick leave.

Encourage customers to not visit your business if they feel sick. Waive cancellation fees for any vendors or customers who call out sick.

If someone on your staff tests positive for COVID-19

You do not need to shut down your business.

See business guidance about cleaning and informing your staff, if a staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

If 3 or more employees test positive in a 2-week period, contact the Department of Public Health at cases.workplaces@sfdph.org or 628-217-6100.

Have a COVID-19 safety plan

Cal/OSHA requires that all businesses have a safety plan. You do not need to post it publicly.

Refer to Cal/OSHA resources for the “COVID-19 Model Prevention Program” document.

Follow face covering requirements

See official guidance about face coverings from the State.

You can download posters about masks from our outreach toolkit.


If you are unvaccinated, face coverings are still required when you are working indoors at your workplace. Employers have to make N-95 respirators available to unvaccinated staff. Some businesses may choose to require masks for all patrons and staff. 

Full details of Cal/OSHA mask requirements were decided on June 17, 2021.


Only customers who are not vaccinated are required to wear a mask. 

You can have customers:

  • Self-attest that they are vaccinated
  • Verify their vaccination status
  • All wear a mask, no matter their vaccination status

But as of July 16, 2021, all Bay Area counties strongly urge that everyone, even if vaccinated, wear masks in indoor public places.  This is to ensure easy verfication that all unvaccinated individuals are wearing masks in those places. It is also an added precautionary measure for all because of the rise in COVID-19 cases and the rapid increase of the highly-transmissible Delta variant. See the press release from the Bay Area health officers for more information.

Other best practices to prevent COVID-19

Most reopening rules have been lifted. But you can still follow best practices to help prevent COVID-19 transmission at your business.

Set up to maximize airflow and outside air

Move as much of your operations outside as you can.

If you use fans, place them so that air doesn’t blow from one person’s space to another.

You can set up umbrellas, tents, or temporary structures outside. Make sure air can flow freely through every area, including corners. No more than 50% of the sides can be closed. See guidelines for operating outdoors from SFDPH and the State.

See your options for ventilation inside your business.

Get help

Technical assistance or guidance
Report positive cases at businesses

If 3 or more employees test positive in a 2-week period.

Email cases.workplaces@sfdph.org.

Call 628-217-6100.

Last updated July 19, 2021