Reopening guidance for restaurants and bars

Documents you will need to reopen in-person dining and bar service during the coronavirus pandemic.

General requirements

Provide as much takeout and delivery services as possible. These are the safest options for dining out during the pandemic. 

Remind customers that they should not eat or drink while waiting for takeout.

In-person dining and bars with no meal service are allowed

Indoor dining is allowed at 50% normal maximum capacity for each room.

Indoor bars are allowed at 25% normal maximum capacity, up to 100 people.

You can seat up to 8 people at the same table indoors. Maximum capacity includes patrons who may need to come inside to pick up a takeout meal, or outdoor diners using the restroom.

Do not seat patrons at bars or counters.

Buffets and tabletop cooking by staff or diners is now allowed, as long as the chef is able to maintain 6 feet of distance from guests. Examples are hot pots, or restaurants where chefs cook food in front of guests.

Live entertainment is allowed, with the performers 6 feet apart from customers and performers not in their household. Everyone must wear a face covering. Wind instruments should have an instrument cover.

Screen everyone for COVID-19 symptoms before you seat them. Send people home if they feel sick.

Post a checklist of ventilation methods you’re using.

Customers at different tables should be 6 feet apart

Restaurants and outdoor bars must be able to set up their tables so that patrons at different tables are seated 6 feet apart. Restaurants can use barriers for privacy indoors, but tables must still be 6 feet apart. Only outdoor barriers set up before December 6 may continue to use barriers to place tables closer.

Customers should not be served unless they are seated at a table. Customers should not stand between tables.

Everyone must wear face coverings

All staff must wear face coverings while at work. Staff who interact with customers should wear a well-fitting mask.

Customers must also wear face coverings indoors when they are not actively eating or drinking.

You must be able to provide face coverings for customers and anyone who works for you. This includes vendors and gig workers.

Outdoors is safer than indoors

Outdoor dining and bar service (with no meals) are allowed. Masks are not required outdoors once customers are seated, if tables are placed 6 feet apart. Customers must put on a mask if going inside for any reason. That includes going to the restroom or finding a staff member.

You can seat up to 8 people outside at the same table. Group reservations of up to 25 people are allowed, but the tables must be 6 feet apart. People can mingle in between the tables if they keep face coverings on, and can be identified as part of the group reservation (like a color-coded bracelet).

When placing tables outside, make sure you leave 6 feet of sidewalk available for pedestrians. You can get a free temporary permit to use the sidewalk, parking lane, or the entire street for dining. 

You can set up umbrellas, tents, or temporary structures outside. Make sure air can flow freely through every area, including corners. No more than one side can be closed. See State guidelines about temporary structures for outdoor businesses.

Designate a Worksite Safety Monitor

The Worksite Safety Monitor is responsible for making sure the restaurant follows all safety requirements. The Worksite Safety Monitor must develop and implement a plan for how the restaurant will comply with all of the requirements.


Required forms

Action required: Complete and post this Social Distancing Protocol. See this protocol in  社交距離 | الإبعاد الاجتماعي | Pilipino | Español | Русский Cách Ly Xã Hội

Action required when in-person dining allowed: Complete and post a Health and Safety Plan from this fillable PDF, before you open your restaurant.

Action required: Complete and post a Health and Safety Plan from this fillable MS Word document.

Required posters

Action required: All restaurants must post this guidance. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino.

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 eating establishments. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino.

Action required: All restaurants providing only takeout service must complete and post this guidance. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino.

Action required: Restaurant owners may use this to remind patrons that masks must be worn when dining out, including whenever not actively eating or drinking, while away from their table, or when restaurant staff approach them. Also available in Spanish and Chinese.

Action required: All businesses must post information for their staff about how to report violations of COVID-19 health orders at the workplace. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino. You can also download this poster in 11x17 size.

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.

Action required: All businesses open to the public for indoor services must complete and post this ventilation checklist. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino.

Action required: This poster gives tips on ventilation during COVID-19 and Air Quality incidents.

Action required: This poster provides tips for staying safe in break rooms at work. It is in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino. It is 11x17. Also available in 8.5x11.

Action required: All SF businesses are required to post this in employee breakrooms. Poster with message encouraging SF residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19. In English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino. You can also download this poster in 11x17 size.


Best practices for dining establishments for outdoor and indoor dining, when in-person dining is allowed.

Other languages: [Spanish]  [Chinese]  [Tagalog]  [Russian]  [Vietnamese]

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

Other languages: [Chinese]  [Spanish]  [Tagalog]

Orders and directives

Health directive about best practices for outdoor and indoor dining, with guidance and a health and safety plan attached. Note that in-person dining is not allowed at this time.

Health directive about best practices for restaurants, food take-out, and food delivery.

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