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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor London Breed Announces Next Steps for Reopening Businesses in San Francisco

If progress continues on reducing the spread of COVID-19, the City anticipates allowing some businesses to do storefront pickup as soon as Monday, May 18th

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and the Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced that San Francisco plans to allow some businesses to resume operating, with modifications. As long San Francisco continues making progress on reducing the spread of COVID-19, the City anticipates allowing some businesses to resume operations with storefront pickup as soon as Monday, May 18th. Retailers such as bookstores, florists, and music stores will be the first stores allowed to operate storefront pickup. This follows today’s announcement by Governor Newsom regarding modified statewide guidelines that allow certain retailers to begin curbside pickup as soon as tomorrow, May 8th.

San Francisco will issue details on this phased business reopening next week. Key requirements of the current Health Order remain in place, including requirements to stay home except for essential needs and certain permitted activities, including outdoor businesses and activities. Additionally, San Franciscans must continue to follow social distance requirements and wear face coverings when waiting in line for pickup or inside of businesses.

“We have been hard at work to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities safely and responsibly,” said Mayor Breed. “Giving businesses the option to reopen and provide storefront pickup will provide some relief for everyone in our city—allowing some people to get back to work, while still protecting public health. The last thing we want is to see a spike in the number of cases or hospitalizations, so we’re going to be keeping close track of our key COVID-19 indicators and will be ready to make any adjustment needed to keep our community healthy.”

“San Franciscans have done a tremendous job to flatten the curve and protect community health,” said Dr. Colfax. “We will continue to study the indicators that tell us how the coronavirus is affecting our communities and amend the health orders as warranted in the best interest of community health. We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not erode the progress we have made together.”

“Our residents and businesses have made tremendous sacrifices for the greater health and safety of our community,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “As we reopen, the focus has to be on doing so smartly. We’re all anxious to get back to work and restart our economy, but the right way to do this for now is in phases. We can’t jeopardize all the sacrifices and progress San Francisco has made by rushing in too far, too fast. We want to reopen, and stay open.”

The categories of businesses that would be eligible to operate storefront pickup were determined in collaboration with business leaders, and based on state and local public health guidance and may be expanded over the coming weeks as conditions allow. This announcement builds on the April 29th extension of the Stay Home Order, which allows additional businesses, including construction and outdoor businesses, to resume safely, with health and safety precautions in place.

As long as San Francisco continues making progress on reducing the spread of COVID-19, consistent with the amended State Order, the first round of businesses that will be allowed to operate with storefront pickup as soon as May 18th include:

  • Bookstores,
  • Florists,
  • Music and record stores,
  • Hobby, toy, and game stores,
  • Home furnishings and home goods,
  • Cosmetics and beauty supply,
  • Arts supplies stores,
  • Musical instrument and supplies stores,
  • Sewing, needlework, and piece goods stores.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) will be developing guidelines for businesses that are consistent with the statewide guidelines. The San Francisco Health Officer will continually review whether modifications to the Order are justified and will adjust the Order as needed.

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development will be working closely with DPH and the Economic Recovery Task Force to develop best practices for facilitating safe pickups at these businesses. As guidelines become available, the City will post the information on the website in addition to partnering with business stakeholders to distribute in multiple languages. Businesses will also be able to call 3-1-1 or the Small Business hotline at 415-554-6134 for more information.

The coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing. San Francisco communities will be dealing with it for a long time to come. The City expects outbreaks to continue, especially among vulnerable populations. That is why the City is building strong systems to protect our communities into the future. DPH will continue to watch the indicators with regard to sufficient testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. DPH will monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients. The City will continue to work with community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress and move forward to further reopening.

“Providing the option for curbside and storefront pick-up is a great and responsible step to re-opening our local economy and supporting our neighborhood businesses,” said Rodney Fong, President and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “These new guidelines will keep our merchant corridors active, while also establishing important public health protocols to keep our residents safe. The entire San Francisco business community appreciates Mayor London Breed’s leadership and thoughtfulness throughout this crisis.”