San Francisco Restaurants Can Seat Guests Indoors Starting Today

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San Francisco has officially moved to the “orange” (or moderate) tier of Gov. Newsom’s recent “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” The modified COVID-tracking system has been active since the end of August, utilizing a a new four-tiered, color-coded system to track counties’ progress in battling the coronavirus.

With the change in tier comes plans for allowing Bay Area restaurants to resume indoor seating at a limited capacity. Said Mayor London Breed in an announcement yesterday:

“Reopening indoor restaurants and houses of worship with limited capacity, and creating opportunities for families to safely enjoy outdoor entertainment are a good step on our road to recovery. We are committed to following the data and continuing reopening once our local health indicators demonstrate it is safe to do so. That said, the last thing we want to see is a spike in cases and a need to roll back all the progress we’ve made, so we all need to do our part. Please continue to follow the public health guidelines and participate in these activities responsibly so we can continue to move forward together.”

Here is what indoor seating will look like:

— 25% of a restaurant’s capacity (or up to 100 people) may dine at the same time

— Face coverings must be worn by personnel and patrons at all times (except when eating or drinking)

— Restaurants will be encouraged to utilize reservations, so always check to see if your go-to spot is doing this

— All patrons must undergo a health check prior to being seated

Visit here for a full list of what restaurants will be doing to ensure the safety of guests and employees.

While the orange tier technically allows for seating at 50% capacity (or 200 people), San Francisco has made a conscious choice to remain cautious. Also keep in mind that restaurants can resume indoor dining, but they don’t have to.

Still, this announcement represents a huge step forward for the large number of embattled SF restaurants trying to outlast the pandemic.

What You Can Do to Help

Progress is exciting, but COVID’s more than proven that we’re living in fragile times. Earlier this week, Gov. Newsom warned of a potential resurgence in coronavirus cases if people aren’t careful.

If you’re dining out and supporting your favorite local restaurant – great! But do so in a responsible way. Newsom echoed this sentiment, saying, “If we go back to our original form, if we’re not cautious, if we’re not vigilant, if we’re not wearing our masks, if we’re not practicing social distancing, physical distancing and hand washing and hygiene, these numbers can start to tick back up.”

We don’t want that. If you’re grabbing a bite at your local neighborhood spot, make sure to be cognizant of the restaurant’s rules and respectful of its staff and your fellow patrons. Let’s keep moving in the right direction together.

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