Stay 6 feet apart: Social distancing

When you have to go out, stay 6 feet apart from other people.

What to do

Social distancing

Going out

If you have to go outside:

  • Avoid groups
  • Keep 6 feet between you and everyone else at all times
  • Reduce the time you are around others outside the home
  • Minimize your exposure and your contact with people outside your household 
  • Wipe any surfaces you need to touch with antibacterial wipes
  • If you have symptoms of a cold or flu (such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, etc.), wear a face mask when you are around other people

Who can go out

If you are sick, over 60 or have a chronic health condition, do not go outside. Get more information for older adults

You can go outside if you are currently healthy and not in a vulnerable population. Take a walk with your housemates, take your kids on a bike ride, walk the dog, or go for a run. Do not join in groups, and keep your distance from other people. 

Public transportation

Only take public transit for essential activities. This will help everyone practice social distancing. If you must take MUNI or BART, stay at least 6 feet apart, which is approximately 2 to 3 steps away.  

This is why it’s important to only take public transportation for essential activities. You want to help everyone be able to practice social distancing.

In your household

You do not need to stay 6 feet apart from people in your own household. 

  • Avoid spending time in community lounges and other common spaces in your building

  • Limit the number of visitors coming into your space

At the store

When you are out of your home at grocery stores, pharmacies, and farmer’s markets, that means:

  • Keep 6 feet of distance between you and others in a line

  • No shaking hands or hugging

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time 

  • Frequently use hand sanitizer

  • Avoid touching your face

  • Try not to touch things unless you need to

  • Give the people who serve you as much room (and patience) as you can

  • Cover your cough or sneeze (into the sleeve or elbow, not your hands)

If you notice a service provider has symptoms of cold or flu, avoid contact. Their supervisor may ask that the service provider go home.

Wash your hands

It is especially important to wash your hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.


In your home clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (such as tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.

Get more information about the coronavirus outbreak

For businesses that may operate under the Order, is social distancing required, or recommended?

Businesses that continue to operate under the Order are strongly encouraged to comply with the social distancing requirements set forth in the order to the greatest extent feasible, but may continue to operate even where strict compliance with all aspects of the requirements are not possible.

Degrees of separation from coronavirus exposure

  • If you have had a positive COVID-19 test result, you should stay home.  Your Physician will monitor you and provide instructions.  You may be asked to notify your workplace by your county’s health department or physician.
  • 1st Degree Exposure: If you are a person who lives with an individual who has tested positive, you should stay home. This is sometimes called “self-quarantine”.  Your Physician will monitor you and provide further instructions.
  • 2nd Degree Exposure: If you live with a person who has been exposed to COVID-19, and they have been instructed to self-quarantine, you should check with your physician.  Generally, 2nd degree contacts, such as this, are considered low risk.  In general, individuals in this situation should report to work.  If you feel sick, you should stay home.


• Everyone must stay home except to get food and medicine, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job.

• Don’t gather with others. That means no dinner parties, no meeting up with friends, and no visitors. Bars, nightclubs, and gyms are closed.

• It is OK to go outside for walks, but not in groups besides your own household.

• If you are an older adult or someone with a serious chronic medical condition like diabetes or heart or lung disease, you are especially vulnerable and must stay home.

Get help

Text alerts

For text alerts, text COVID19SF to 888-777

Last updated March 30, 2020