SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – San Francisco, arguably the most cautious county in the state when it comes to reopening amid COVID-19, is loosening the reins and preparing for a return to normal this summer.

The city and county announced dozens of minor and significant changes to their health regime that will allow more flexibility for businesses and residents.

We split the changes that will come into effect on Thursday, sector by sector:


Restaurant guests no longer have to sit down to get food and drinks. This means that standing tables and similar arrangements are okay as long as the distance between tables and group sizes is limited to eight people.

Sushi bars and other preparations at the table (such as in Benihana) are now also allowed in smaller restaurants that cannot keep a physical distance between the guests.


Bars no longer have to keep a two-meter distance between parties sitting and drinking at the counter. People can also stand and drink at pool tables, arcade games, and the like (as long as groups drinking together are limited to eight people).

Social gatherings

At indoor social gatherings with multiple households, people can now remove their masks to eat and drink. The county is still stressing that this is much safer if everyone in attendance is vaccinated.

Outdoor sports and other live events

People no longer need to have a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination to attend outdoor events like Giants games. They only need to provide evidence if they want to sit in fully vaccinated sections that do not require physical distance.


Open days are now allowed as long as they meet the guidelines for indoor gatherings.

Indoor places of worship

Houses of worship can create areas for people who are fully vaccinated and do not require physical distance. Face masks are still required and capacity is still limited to 50%.

Youth and adult sports

Teams are allowed to play more than one game on the same day in tournaments as long as all teams follow state guidelines for college sports. These guidelines include regular COVID-19 testing.

Post-school and recreational programs for children

The size of the cohorts is no longer limited, and parents can now enter the property to pick up their children as long as they are masked.

Personal care services (tattoos, massages, etc.)

Patrons can remove their masks to have their faces pierced, tattooed, or massaged.

“Every day, San Francisco is starting to look more like the bustling city it always was,” Mayor London Breed said in a press release announcing the new rules.

The city states that these changes will help San Francisco prepare for even bigger changes expected on June 15. At this point, Governor Gavin Newsom has stated that California plans to fully reopen its economy. What exactly this means has yet to be announced.

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