San Francisco will allow restaurants to reopen for al fresco dining, and barbers and hairdressers can resume limited service on Thursday, but a curfew and quarantine on travel remain in place, city officials said Monday.
During an online press conference, Mayor London Breed warned residents to continue wearing masks, distancing themselves and washing their hands frequently when the city reopens.
“Just remember, this is not an open door for us to suddenly let our hair fall and do what we want,” said Breed.
The city expects to be placed in the most restrictive purple category on Tuesday, but may reopen due to the state’s decision to lift an emergency decree aimed at clearing ICU space while on vacation.
The city will continue to adhere to a curfew that prohibits non-essential business and gatherings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., as well as an order requiring travelers from outside the Bay Area to be quarantined for 10 days.
The reopening will allow all personal services including massage and tattoo parlors to resume with mask requirements, zoos and museums to reopen outdoors, and hotels to open to tourists. City officials said they were equipped to vaccinate many more people but still had insufficient supplies of the vaccine.
San Francisco took a scare last week when officials reported the city could run out of vaccine by Thursday, also amid government warnings of a suspicious batch of Moderna doses. After these doses were found to be safe, the city was able to continue vaccination without interruption.
Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s public health director, said his department will receive 10,575 doses this week and they are “ready to walk out the door immediately”.
“We need more vaccine,” he said.
He said the entire city has received 127,000 doses and administered 59,000 doses so far. The remaining 59,000 doses are already planned to be given to people who need a first and second dose, he said.
When asked why the city has reopened in the face of new, more contagious varieties of the virus, Colfax said “don’t panic” as long as people continue to mask and follow other precautions. Other counties in the Bay Area are expected to reopen this week, similar to San Francisco, he said.
San Francisco’s intensive care capacity remains stable at 26% and the city’s infection rate has fallen below one, Breed said.
San Francisco began preparing for a vaccine rollout in August and ordered the refrigerators needed to keep the dosage at the required temperature. The vaccinations are still limited by the offer. Healthcare workers and those 65 and over in San Francisco are now eligible for the vaccine.
As soon as more doses come in, “they’ll be in someone’s arms on the street so we can get things started again,” she said.