Step by step

Reopening San Francisco

We are balancing reopening with public health restrictions to keep our City safe and healthy.

This timeline may change. Our progress in loosening or tightening restrictions depends on our local public health indicators

See the current status of various business types

Our path forward starts with lower risk activities (such as outdoor and limited contact activities). It then moves into activities that are gradually riskier (such as indoor activities), with limited capacity. In-person learning and development activities will also be prioritized and opened on a rolling basis.

Gradually reopening safely protects each of us, and will rebuild long-term confidence in our economy.

Current updates

On February 23, 2021, the Department of Public Health lifted the mandatory travel quarantine. Anyone traveling from outside California is still strongly recommended to quarantine for 10 days.


Stay home


March to May 17

Essential activities only

All non-essential employees must work from home.

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Reopening begins


May 17


  • Curbside retail for goods and services with minimal contact, including takeout and delivery
  • Outdoor businesses (that operated outdoors as of March 16)
  • All construction with protocols for small and large projects
  • Hotels, hospitality, and short-term rentals for first responders and homeless, for isolation and quarantine rooms, and as needed for essential travel and other activities that the health order permits
  • Office: all non-essential employees must work from home
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June 1


  • Non-essential manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics with fewer than 50 onsite employees
  • Non-essential curbside retail for goods, outdoor equipment rental, and limited contact services with fewer than 10 onsite employees
  • Elective surgeries and dental appointments
  • Limited private household outdoor services like a gardener or landscaping
  • Virtual appointments for real estate, but limited in-person appointments where there are no occupants
  • Professional sports practices only with approved safety plan, including regular testing
  • Office: all non-essential employees must continue working from home

Childcare and education

Culture and recreation


June 12

Outdoor dining including restaurants and bars serving food


June 15


Childcare and education

Culture and recreation

  • Small outdoor gatherings of up to 12, including religious services and ceremonies
  • Outdoor fitness with social distancing
  • Professional sports and other entertainment for broadcast, but with no in-person spectators, under approved safety plans
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July 15

The SF Zoo and Gardens will open to the general public, with safety plans in place.


July 17

Closed, due to State requirements

  • Offices for non-essential employees
  • Enclosed shopping malls
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September 1, SF in State’s Red Tier


  • Personal care services (hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, massage establishments) (outdoor only)
  • Non-contact recreational activities, outdoors (includes outdoor pools with limited capacity)
  • Restore opening of indoor malls at 25% capacity, with approved safety plan (closed seating areas and food court)
  • Funerals, indoors with up to 12 people
  • Health emergency respite centers, like cooling and cleaner air centers, indoors

Childcare and education

  • Childcare and Out of School Time programs, up to 14 children
  • Higher and adult education, up to 14 people outdoors (indoors requires approved safety plan)
  • Specialized and targeted support services for vulnerable children and youth


September 9

Gyms and fitness centers, outdoors with limited capacity


September 14

Businesses, all with limited capacity

Childcare and education

Other activities

  • Places of worship (one person at a time for individual prayer indoors, with 50 people outdoors)
  • Political activities (for example, campaign offices), with limited capacity, 1 person indoors, 50 people outdoors for protests


September 21

Businesses, with limited capacity

Childcare and education


September 30, SF in State’s Orange Tier

Businesses, with limited capacity

  • Indoor dining, 25% capacity up to 100 people (including indoor food courts in malls)
  • More family entertainment, outdoors (carousels, miniature trains, Ferris wheels)
  • Gyms and fitness centers inside hotels, up to 10% capacity
  • Indoor malls with increased capacity, up to 50% with an approved safety plan

Other activities

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October 7


October 14



October 20, SF in State’s Yellow Tier


October 27

  • Non-essential offices, with limited capacity
  • Climbing gyms, indoor, with limited capacity
  • Indoor gyms with increased capacity (but no indoor cardio classes)
  • Indoor personal care that includes mask removal for some services
  • Outdoor higher education classes with increased capacity


Education, on rolling basis

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November 3

Businesses, new with limited capacity

Activities with increased capacity

  • Film production, indoors and outdoors
  • Real estate showings by appointment


November 13 

Rolled back, due to surge in COVID-19 cases

  • Indoor dining closed at restaurants, malls, hotels, zoos, museums, gyms, aquariums, office cafeterias
  • Lower maximum capacity at movie theaters and gyms (25%, up to 50 people)



November 17, SF in State’s Red Tier

Rolled back, due to major surge in COVID-19 cases


November 29

Rolled back, due to State Purple Tier assignment


November 30

State Purple Tier Limited Stay Home Order

  • All dining and non-essential businesses closed 10 pm to 5 am
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December 6

Bay Area Regional Stay Home Order, effective 10 pm


Lowered capacity



December 10

Update to State health order

  • Outdoor playgrounds reopening
  • Small outdoor gatherings allowed between 2 people from different households
  • Standalone grocery store capacity increased to 35%
  • Hotels can open for out-of-state tourists, if they quarantine for 2 weeks at the hotel



December 18

Travel quarantine

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Now: January and February

January 21



January 28

Businesses reopening, all with limited capacity

  • Outdoor dining, up to 6 people from 2 households, with tables 6 feet apart (and no barriers used in lieu of distancing)
  • One-on-one personal training in indoor gyms, up to 3 people
  • Personal services, indoors and outdoors, except those that require mask removal
  • Outdoor zoos (up to 50% capacity) and outdoor museums
  • Outdoor family entertainment centers
  • Hotels for tourists

Activities with increased capacity

  • Indoor retail (up to 25% capacity, with standalone grocery stores up to 50%)
  • Outdoor fitness cap removed, and classes expanded to 25 people
  • Outdoor recreation (golf foursomes, doubles tennis and low contact sports like dancing and bocce ball now allowed)
  • Outdoor religious gatherings and political protests, 6 feet apart
  • Outdoor gatherings, with up to 3 households (12 people maximum) with no food or drink, or up to 2 households (6 people maximum) with food or drink



February 23

Mandatory travel quarantine lifted. Anyone traveling from outside California is still strongly recommended to quarantine for 10 days.

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Goal: TBD

The following are considered to be higher-risk activities. Each will be carefully assessed based on the City’s health indicators and the best available science. We will provide regular updates on the progression of these sectors.

Business, all with limited capacity

  • Indoor activities at restaurants and movie theaters 
  • Indoor activities at museums, aquariums and zoos 
  • Indoor fitness
  • Outdoor live musical, theatrical and arts performances
  • Expanded youth sports outdoors and indoors
  • Indoor swimming pools
  • Bowling alleys, indoors, and identified other family entertainment centers
  • Bars, wineries, and breweries without food (outdoors and indoors)
  • Convention and event centers
  • Night clubs
  • Performance spaces, indoors (theaters, concert halls, music venues)

Education, on rolling basis

Other activities

  • Non-contact recreational sports with shared equipment, indoors
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Full reopening

We will remove all social distancing limits and other restrictions related to the COVID-19 response.

All activities will be allowed.

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Last updated February 23, 2021