Guidance for indoor museums

Documents needed to open indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums during the pandemic.


Action required: Complete a Health and Safety Plan from this fillable PDF. Send it to and post it at your facility.

Action required: Complete and post this Social Distancing Protocol.

Action required: The Health Order requires that businesses post certain signage for their customers during the coronavirus pandemic. This poster meets of all the signage requirements for museums, zoos, and aquariums. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino.

Action required: The Health Order requires that businesses post certain signage during the coronavirus pandemic. This poster meets the requirement for communicating indoor risk, for all businesses doing indoor operations.

Guidance about ventilation from the Department of Public Health, for businesses, offices, schools, faith-based and similar organizations.

Health directive about best practices for indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums.

The Shelter-in-Place Order that states what activities are allowed and prohibited during the COVID-19 emergency.

General requirements

Facilities can operate up to 25% capacity for each room. Everyone must be able to stay 6 feet apart at all times, including the elevators. Encourage patrons to take the stairs if they can.

Limit contact between people

The following must still be closed:

  • Group reservations
  • Guided tours
  • Classes and events (including event rentals)
  • Common areas (meeting rooms and lounge areas)
  • Auditoriums
  • Coat and bag checks
  • Interactive exhibits that involve extensive touching
  • Water fountains (although you can open bottle filling stations if you sanitize)

Any items shared between patrons must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Try to provide audio tours that can be listened to on mobile phones.

Other reopening rules

Follow rules for:

  • Indoor retail if reopening gift shops
  • Restaurants if reopening outdoor cafes (indoor dining must still stay closed)
  • Offices if staff cannot work from home

More information

Daily health screener you can use with your guests and workers.

Download signage to print yourself, or get printed posters.

Find SF vendors who sell face masks, hand sanitizer, and other protective equipment for your employees.

See general information about operating a business during the pandemic.

See business guidance from the Department of Public Health.

More languages

See health directives and plans in various languages.


Indoor museums and galleries allowed to reopen under new health directive (September 21, 2020)