San Francisco will begin reopening much of its economy amid falling Covid-19 case rates, hospital stays and deaths.
Restaurants can start serving from Wednesday Limited indoor restaurants and cinemas, gyms, and museums may reopen with limited capacity.
“This is the beginning of a great time in San Francisco. You will save money by not buying these plane tickets to visit other places. You can enjoy your city right here, ”said an optimistic Mayor of London Breed on Tuesday under blue skies from Pier 39, an area popular with tourists in picturesque Fisherman’s Wharf.
“I’m so proud of San Francisco. Almost a year after our placement, we have seen our worst surge since the beginning of the pandemic thanks to our collective action and commitment to health policy compliance, ”said Dr. Grant Colfax, the director of San Francisco’s public health department, said in a statement.
San Francisco has one of the lowest coronavirus cases and death rates in the country with a pre-pandemic population of 900,000. More than 34,000 cases and 422 deaths have been reported since the pandemic began.
The city and its environs were the first to impose a lockdown when the coronavirus hit the United States last spring. Some sectors were allowed to reopen after fall rates dropped in the summer, but the city resumed operations in early December as the positivity rate spiked nationwide.
According to the city’s financial analysts, San Franciscans have stayed home more than people in other California cities and even in other equally strict counties in the Bay Area. Many of the workers in the region, including those in the tech industry, can move their work from offices to their homes. The guidelines contributed to good public health but emphasized the local economy.
With Reopening Policies, San Francisco joins Santa Clara and Napa counties in the Bay Area to reopen indoor dining rooms and movie theaters of 25% capacity or up to 100 people, as well as gyms and yoga studios to allow a capacity of 10%. Museums, zoos and aquariums can be opened indoors with a capacity of 25%.
The coastal district of San Luis Obispo, as well as Lassen, Modoc and El Dorado counties are also easing restrictions.
Outdoor restaurants, outdoor museums, and some indoor and outdoor personal services reopened in late January after the state canceled its regional stay-at-home order, but the economic burden was heavy.
The coronavirus restrictions had a significant impact on the San Francisco economy. According to official data, the city’s once sky-high rents have fallen by 30% and new office rents have fallen 71% in 2020 as technicians who could work from anywhere fled to other parts of the state and country, which were more affordable and cheaper had more space. Downtown restaurants that once fed hungry office workers and tourists at lunch have struggled.
Tourism also has problems: airline ticket purchases to San Francisco in late October and November fell 80% year over year, much worse than the average US city, financial analysts said in a January report.
Breed, the mayor, on Tuesday urged residents to continue wearing masks and maintain proper social distance, despite encouraging them to explore the city and pump money into the local economy.
“When your waiter comes to your table, put on your mask. When you go to the bathroom, put your mask on, ”she said.
Alcatraz Island, another top tourist attraction in the city, is slated to reopen in mid-March, said Julian Espinoza, spokesman for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which also includes Alcatraz.
Breed also announced on social media that another San Francisco landmark will return sometime this year: the rattle of cable cars.
“Cable cars are part of the stuff of San Francisco. They attract tourists, they help our economy, and I won’t just make them go away, ”she said.