Stay active during the coronavirus pandemic

Find out about the different activities you can do to get exercise.

What to do

As we reopen San Francisco, the safest choice is to exercise outdoors alone or with people you live with. Exercising with other people is higher-risk.  People breathe harder during exercise. That increases the risk of COVID-19, especially indoors.

Check your health before you go out. If you feel sick, stay home.

Stay active on your own, or with people who you live with

Activities can include:

  • Yoga at home
  • Run in your neighborhood
  • Ride your bike near your home
  • Go for a walk or hike

Stay active with others

The number of people allowed depends on SF’s tier level.  

When SF is in a higher tier, some of these activities are restricted:

Practice physical distancing when exercising

You should stay 6 feet apart from others

You should have a face covering with you. It should be visible and readily accessible when exercising, like hanging around your neck. There might be times where you cannot avoid being within 6 feet of other people.

You must wear a mask whenever you cannot easily maintain 6 feet of distance from people who don’t live with you. 

You can attend fitness or dance classes, with face masks and physical distancing

Everyone must wear face masks and stay 6 feet apart. You must stay 12 feet apart for certain indoor classes.

The number of people per class, including staff, depends on SF’s tier level. 

Examples of allowed classes are:

  • Boot camps
  • Cardio classes
  • Solo dancing classes
  • Yoga classes
  • Tai chi classes

Instructors should have students sign into each class, using their name and phone number. If someone feels sick later and tests positive for COVID-19, the City can help everyone get tested.

See official guidance about outdoor and indoor classes.

You can go to a gym

You may need to make a reservation. SF’s tier level determines the number of people allowed indoors and outdoors

You must wear a face covering the entire time you’re there.  You can only take your mask off when you are drinking water at rest.

You must stay at least 12 feet away from others if you are exercising hard enough that you are breathing hard. You can be 6 feet apart if you are using stationary equipment (treadmills, stationary bikes).

You can work with a personal trainer even indoors, but must stay at least 6 feet away from them (12 feet away if you are breathing hard).  

If you want someone to spot you, you should bring someone you live with. You cannot ask gym staff or other guests to spot you.

See detailed public health guidance about gyms.

You can swim in a public or community pool

Public and community pools can be in:

  • Community centers
  • Athletic clubs
  • Apartment complexes
  • Schools

Pool capacity will be limited indoors and outdoors. You may have to make a reservation.

Other facilities (hot tubs, lockers, showers) are dependent on tier level


  • Wading pools and saunas are not allowed
  • Locker rooms, showers, and outdoor hot tubs are allowed

You must stay 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with, in and around the pool.

You should not share a private pool with people who don’t live with you.

You can play sports, on an organized team in a league

The rules for organized sports outdoors and indoors depend on SF’s tier level. See the SFDPH health directive on sports for up-to-date guidance.

Everyone must wear face masks during games, training, and practice (except for swimming and diving).

If you are playing outdoors, you can remove your mask during competition in a sport where you know you will stay 6 feet away from others. For example, you can remove your mask when playing outfield in baseball or softball, but not when you are batting or playing first base.

If you play a sport where you cannot stay 6 feet of others (like football, basketball, or soccer), you must keep your mask on during competition too. 

For all sports, you must stay 6 feet apart when you are not actively playing, for example, when on the sidelines.

You can play league games against other teams in California.

You can play on multiple organized sports teams at a time. If you play on an indoor moderate-to-high contact sport, you cannot play on a 2nd team. You cannot change teams more often than 3 weeks. See a list of low-contact, moderate-contact, and high-contact sports.

You can have spectators at your practices or games. 

You can play informal sports with a small group of friends, with face masks and physical distancing

The number of friends who can exercise or play sports together outdoors and indoors and what type of sports depends on SF’s tier level. 

Everyone must wear face masks

You can play contact sports like basketball or soccer, but you should stay 6 feet apart when you are not playing the sport.  

You can share a ball or frisbee.

You do not have to be part of an organized class or team.

See which SF parks, playgrounds, other outdoor areas, zoos, and museums are open

Outdoor playgrounds are open. You must stay 6 feet from other families. Everyone over 2 years old must wear a face covering

Check with San Francisco Recreation and Parks to see what facilities are open in each park.  

See public health guidance for playgrounds.

See current capacity limits for parks and other outdoor entertainment centers (like mini-golf).

Check with Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to see what's open.

See current capacity limits for zoos and museums.

More information

Last updated April 19, 2021