News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

San Francisco Releases Guidelines for Retail Businesses to Operate Storefront Pickup and Delivery

As long as COVID-19 indicators in San Francisco continue to demonstrate progress on slowing the spread of the virus, retail businesses will be able to operate for storefront pickup and delivery starting on Monday, May 18.

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced the next step in the City’s measured plan to safely reopen San Francisco by releasing guidelines for businesses in the city that are eligible for curbside or storefront pickup. As long as San Francisco continues making progress on reducing the spread of COVID-19, the City will amend the Stay Home Order that was issued on April 29th to allow most retail businesses to resume operations with storefront pickup as soon as 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18th.

Today, the City issued guidelines for retail businesses, as well as associated manufacturers and warehouses. The guidelines are available online at Before a business can open, they must prepare, post, implement, and distribute a social distancing protocol for each of their facilities, and a written health and safety plan that addresses all applicable best practices that are detailed in the relevant Health Officer directives.

The Department of Public Health is working closely with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Economic Recovery Task Force to develop best practices for facilitating safe pickups at retail businesses. The City is also partnering with business stakeholders to distribute the guidelines to businesses in multiple languages. Businesses can call 311 or the Small Business hotline at (415) 554-6134 for more information.

“Allowing retail to operate storefront pickup is a great step for our small businesses, which have been struggling since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Breed. “Businesses that will be allowed to open next week won’t be able to operate like they used to but this hopefully offers a measure of support. We will be monitoring our key COVID-19 indicators carefully, and will be ready to quickly make any adjustments as needed to respond to a spike in cases, or an increase in hospitalizations.”

“This is a meaningful step on the gradual path to the new normal,” said Dr. Colfax. “As we take these hopeful steps, we will continue to balance them alongside protecting community health. We will keep a close eye on the data, so that we can move forward, or pause, or increase restrictions, depending on the spread of the virus in the community.”

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.

Under the amended Health Order, any retail store in San Francisco that faces the street will be able to operate under the following conditions:

  • Storefront, curbside, or outside pickup only. Customers may not enter the store.
  • No more than 10 personnel may be on site in the retail facility at any time. Smaller stores may need to limit personnel to fewer than 10, to allow for required social distancing.
  • Stores must have access to an adjacent curbside adjacent sidewalk, street, alley, or parking lot for pickup by customers using any form of permitted travel. The pickup area must not block pedestrians, or cause pedestrian or vehicle congestion.
  • Retail stores in an enclosed indoor shopping center may not reopen at this time, except to the extent that the store has a separate entrance to an exterior sidewalk.

In addition to retail stores, certain manufacturers, warehouses, and logistical businesses will be allowed to open. Businesses that manufacture the goods sold at retail stores covered above and have no more than 50 personnel on site in the facility at any time will be allowed to operate. Businesses that provide warehousing and logistical support to the retail stores covered above and have no more than 50 personnel on site in the facility at any time will also be allowed to operate. They will also need to abide by State guidelines for safety during this pandemic.

Businesses can request that the street parking outside the entrance to their store be converted to a temporary loading zone to help encourage physical distancing and reduce crowding. That application information is available online, along with the guidelines for retail businesses.

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. The type and frequency of contact between people is relatively low when done outdoors as curbside pickup. Businesses that involve outdoor interactions carry a lower risk of transmission than most indoor businesses, and curbside pickup at these stores should result in only a relatively modest increase in the number of people moving about and entering facilities.

However, 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 monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients. DPH will also continue to watch the indicators with regard to sufficient testing, contact tracing, and personal protective equipment. The City will continue to work with community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress and move forward to further reopening.