San Francisco Expands Indoor Dining — and (Outdoor) Bar Reopening Will Follow

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San Francisco's newest reopening guidelines will include bars and increased capacity at restaurants.  (Bjorn Bakstad / iStock)

San Francisco is expanding its reopening project with the announcement that the city and county has been designated in the yellow tier by California’s COVID-19 indicators. With the change in tier level, Indoor dining capacity will expand from 25% to 50% capacity for up to 200 guests.  Outdoor drinking establishments will now also be allowed to serve beverages without food at this capacity starting some time in November. This marks the first occasion that bars are allowed to open and operate since the pandemic. A two hour limit will be enforced on patrons at eating and drinking establishments and televisions and other live entertainment are not allowed at this time. Restaurants and patrons are also expected to follow other safety measures including wearing protective equipment, leaving information for contact tracing, and for servers in particular, de-escalating with customers who do not obey these guidelines. 

“Although this is very good news, we want to emphasize that this movement toward further reopening can only continue if our community continues to adhere to the guidance given by the city and state to reduce transmission,” wrote Amy Cleary of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association via email.

“We know that indoor dining is still not for everyone, be it diners or restaurants," Cleary continued. "But as we move into our winter season, this is another critical step in the reopening process that provides real hope for survival for our San Francisco restaurant community.”