Guide to the orange tier reopening

Congratulations San Francisco! It’s been a tough year, but thanks to our diligent (yet challenging) adherence to Covid guidelines, the city moved into the less-restrictive “moderate” orange tier on March 24, and is expected to progress further to the “minimal” yellow  tier in mid-April. Here are some highlights of what has changed and will change in the orange tier:

Bars: Open outdoors only with table service and a maximum of six people per table without meals. Includes wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Establishments without meal service remain closed.

Dining indoors: Now allowed is 50 percent occupancy (patrons only, not to exceed 200 people). Tables limited to six people from three households, and dining must end by 11 p.m. Includes bars serving meals, cafes/coffeeshops, hotels, museums, food courts.

Dining outdoors: Restrictions lifted for number of households per table; tables remain limited to six guests with group reservations allowed up to two tables with 12 people maximum; (but no mingling between tables), and allow alcohol without a meal.

Family entertainment outdoors: Roller and ice skating rinks may expand to full capacity with physical distancing; standalone amusement park rides may open with members of three households allowed inside enclosed spaces (yes, that means the SkyStar Observation Wheel in Golden Gate Park).

Fitness indoors: Capacity may increase to 25 percent up to 100 patrons; locker rooms and showers may open; youth restrictions are removed; group fitness may resume to the lesser of 25 percent capacity or 100 people; pools may open up to 25 percent capacity for general use only (no fitness classes).

Fitness outdoors: May increase to 25 participants from three households; 25-person limitation lifted with physical distancing maintained; pools may open at 50 percent capacity with distancing requirements; gentle water aerobics classes allowed. 

Movie theaters: Capacity may expand to 50 percent or 200 people, whichever is less.

Museums indoor: Open at 50 percent capacity with interactive exhibitions, coat check, and indoor dining and auditoriums may reopen following protocols.

Personal services: Open indoors at 50 percent patron capacity.

Retail indoors: Open at 50 percent of maximum patron capacity (includes stand-alone retail, shopping centers, financial institutions, laundromats, etc.); customers’ reusable bags and containers allowed. 

Spectator sports/large entertainment facilities outdoors: Beginning April 1, venues with assigned seating may reopen with capacity restrictions and other operating guidelines.

Remember that to progress to additional less-restrictive tiers, it is mandatory to continue to mask and follow protocols, and to continue testing when needed. For a complete and up-to-date list of changes, directives, and guidance, visit the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development ( 

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