SAN FRANCISCO TO REOPEN AND EXPAND ADDITIONAL BUSINESSES AND ACTIVITIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Contact: San Francisco Joint Information Center, dempress@sfgov.org

*** PRESS RELEASE ***

SAN FRANCISCO TO REOPEN AND EXPAND ADDITIONAL BUSINESSES AND ACTIVITIES

Beginning Thursday, April 15, San Francisco will resume indoor live-audience events, performances, meetings, and receptions with capacity limits and following other protocols, and will expand existing guidelines for outdoor live-audience events, performances, and other activities

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced that, starting tomorrow, San Francisco will reopen and expand additional activities that are allowed by the State for counties assigned to the orange tier. These activities include indoor live-audience events and performances and private events such as conferences and receptions. In alignment with the State’s guidelines, San Francisco will also expand the number of individuals allowed to participate in indoor and outdoor social gatherings and will loosen some restrictions on other activities, including dining, outdoor bars, retail, and recreation. 

Many of the activities that are resuming may reopen because of guidelines recently released by the State. With some exceptions, San Francisco will align with the State’s guidelines to reopen and expand newly permitted activities under the orange tier. New and expanded businesses and activities may resume starting Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. as long as they comply with required capacity limits and other safety protocols. 

“San Francisco is continuing to reopen and this latest round of activities and events that can start to resume is an exciting step for our city,” said Mayor Breed. “Throughout our response to COVID-19 and our reopening efforts, we’ve focused on moving forward in a way that protects public health, and we’re going to need everyone to keep doing their part to keep our community safe. Remember to keep wearing your mask, continue to keep your distance from others, and get tested if you feel sick. We are still in a pandemic, and we can’t let our guard down – but that doesn’t mean we can’t still find ways to adapt to our new normal, have fun, and enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer.” 

Although San Francisco remains assigned to the orange tier on the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, its COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and other health equity metrics have remained stable over the past several weeks. With the recent guidance released by the State, San Francisco is taking the opportunity to reopen live events and performances and private events and to expand additional activities within the orange tier. Key criteria for the resumption and continuation of these expansions will be a stable or declining rate of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. As public health officials continue to monitor San Francisco’s health indicators, the City may need to pause or rollback activities if data suggests that COVID-19 is significantly increasing within the community again. 

Under the new Health Order, San Francisco will open indoor ticketed and seated events and performances up to 35% capacity with an approved Health and Safety Plan, as long as  all participants keep their masks on except when eating or drinking in designated concessions areas away from their seats, distancing requirements can be met, and participants show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before they enter the venue. Venues may create vaccinated-only sections with relaxed distancing requirements, subject to specified criteria and an approved health and safety plan. For venues operating at 15% capacity or less, with no more than 200 people, and that do not have any vaccinated-only sections, an approved Health and Safety Plan and proof of vaccination or a negative test will not be required.  

Private events such as meetings, conventions, and receptions may also resume indoors up to 150 participants with assigned seating and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Such events may resume outdoors following the same guidelines for up to 300 people, or up to 100 people without proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.  

Outdoor ticketed venues for live-audience events and performances may expand capacity up to 50% under existing guidelines. Like indoor venues, outdoor venues may create vaccinated-only sections with relaxed distancing restrictions, subject to specified criteria and an approved health and safety plan. An approved health and safety plan is also required for outdoor ticketed events greater than 1,000 audience members, and a health and safety plan must be submitted to the Health Officer (but does not require pre-approval) before the event for outdoor ticketed events of between 500 and 1,000 audience members. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required by all participants if the outdoor event includes 4,000 or more audience members, or 100 or more audience members and food and beverages are served. In all cases, patrons must wear facial coverings for the duration of the event, except for times when they are eating or drinking.  

San Francisco will also expand capacity for indoor and outdoor social gatherings based on the State’s new guidance, as well as a number of activities impacted by those changes, including drive-ins, tour operators, childcare, sports and recreation, and institutes of higher education. Under the amendments to the Health Order, groups of up to 50 may now gather together outdoors with face coverings and distancing, reduced to 25 if food or drink is being consumed. Indoor gatherings may resume at the lesser of 25% capacity or 25 individuals without food or beverages. In addition to the activities above, a number of changes to the Health Order will allow additional expansions for outdoor dining, outdoor bars, film, and indoor family entertainment as well as the easing of some safety protocols for other sectors including retail, hotels, and indoor dining. Community centers serving seniors and adult day care will also be able to reopen to 25% capacity beginning tomorrow, April 15. 

“I want to thank the people of this great City for doing their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax. “Please keep up the good work. We are watching with growing concern at the variant-fueled surges taking place in other parts of the country and in Europe. The last thing we all want is to rollback our reopening. If we continue to double down on the masking, physical distancing, and limiting of social gatherings with people outside one’s household, we can keep this disease in check. Remember, masks on, stay strong.”  

San Francisco has maintained a stable average between 30 and 40 new COVID-19 cases a day since early March 2021, and is currently averaging 35 new cases per day. Likewise, COVID-19 hospitalizations are also down significantly since February 2021. Although they remain low, those trends have flattened and prevented San Francisco from meeting the State’s criteria to move into the yellow tier this week. With the growing prevalence of variants in the Bay Area and the surge in cases in Michigan and the northeast, public health officials are closely monitoring any changes to cases that may indicate increasing contagion. 

Countering these concerns to some degree are San Francisco’s ongoing vaccination efforts. At this time, nearly 60% of San Francisco’s population has received the first dose of vaccine, as have over 84% of the City’s residents over 65. Effective yesterday, April 13, anyone over the age of 16 is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in San Francisco. Although consistent supply of COVID-19 vaccine remains a challenge preventing the City from distributing vaccines to its full capacity, it continues to make significant progress toward vaccinating people who live and work in San Francisco. 

“Resuming indoor meetings, receptions, and events are key to San Francisco’s economic foundation,” said Anne Taupier, Acting Director of Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “These activities drive the meetings, celebrations, conferences, and conventions that generate hundreds of millions of dollars for our economy and are essential business activities for our hotels, restaurants, and other large and small venues. This is a major step for the industries and workers who have suffered most significantly over the past year. With our health indicators as low and as stable as they are OEWD applauds the City’s decision to expand the activities within the orange tier to maximize economic activity with appropriate safety protocols.” 

The San Francisco Department of Public Health will issue final health and safety guidelines to reopen activities allowed under the orange tier of the State’s updated Blueprint for a Safer Economy, with some additional local restrictions, effective at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, April 15, 2021. The City will post the revised Health Order with detailed requirements to its webpage by the end of the day today April 14, 2021. A list of the activities that will be reopened or expanded under the new Health Order can be found below. 

Although San Francisco’s vaccination rate is above the state average, it is not yet sufficient to prevent a fourth surge without continued adherence to public health guidelines. Health officials continue to emphasize the need for masking and social distancing by all, including those who have been vaccinated, when outside their homes in order to limit the impact of variants. Likewise, businesses are encouraged to have outdoor options wherever possible. People at risk for severe illness with COVID-19,  such as unvaccinated older adults and unvaccinated individuals with health risks, and members of their households, should defer participating at this time in activities with other people outside their household where taking protective measures of wearing face masks and social distancing may be difficult, especially indoors or in crowded spaces.   

As public health officials continue to monitor San Francisco’s health indicators, the City may choose to pause higher-risk activities or implement a lagged approach to reopening subsequent tiers in order to ensure sufficient analysis about how health indicators have responded to the reopening of activities, manage risk, and protect public health.  

Activities to Resume Thursday, April 15, 2021 

The following activities may be reopened: 

·         Indoor Ticketed and Seated Performances, Spectator Sports and other Live Events

  • Indoor ticketed and seated events such as live sports, theater arts and musical performances, and graduation ceremonies may open up to 35% capacity for in-state audience members with an approved Health and Safety Plan, so long as the State’s social distancing guidelines can be maintained. Suites and boxes are limited to 25% capacity and 3 households. All participants must keep their masks on except when eating or drinking in designated concession areas with at least 6 feet distance between households.  All California residents over the age of 12 must show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, and any out-of-state visitors must show proof of vaccination.  
  • Vaccinated-only section. A venue may lift the distancing requirement and operate certain sections at 100% capacity, including suites, if the operator meets the State’s minimum requirements and (1) confirms that all patrons 16 and up are fully vaccinated before they enter the venue, (2) requires a negative COVID-19 test for any patrons who are between the ages 2-15 and accompanying a parent or guardian who is fully vaccinated, (3) requires all patrons in the vaccination-only section to wear face coverings at all times unless otherwise exempted under the face covering order, and (4) receives advance approval of a Health and Safety Plan from the Health Officer. All patrons in the vaccinated-only section count towards the venue’s permissible occupancy.
  • An approved health and safety plan is not required for events with no more than 200 people in the audience or up to 15% capacity, whichever is fewer, and that does not have a vaccination-only section, but those events need to comply with all the other safety rules. 
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination is not required for events with  no more than 200 people in the audience or up to 15% capacity, whichever is fewer, if no food or beverages are served nor is it required for events with fewer than 50 people in the audience that include food or beverage service. 

·         Indoor Meetings and Private Events 

  • Meetings, conferences, receptions, and other private events may resume indoors with up to 150 participants in reserved or assigned seating that meets physical distancing requirements. All participants must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.  
  • Food and beverage allowed under indoor dining guidelines. 

·         Outdoor Meetings and Private Events 

  • If the event is conducted outdoors, up to 100 participants are allowed without proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test, and up to 300 participants with proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.  
  • Food and beverage allowed under outdoor dining guidelines 

·         Community Centers serving Seniors and Adult Day Care Facilities 

  • Senior community centers and adult day care facilities may reopen to 25% capacity up to 25 people. Food and beverage services or activities remain closed at this time.   

The following activities may expand their operating capacity under current guidelines: 

·         Outdoor Ticketed and Seated Performances, Spectator Sports and other Live Events

  • Outdoor ticketed and seated events with live audiences may expand up to 50% capacity with an approved Health and Safety Plan, so long as the State’s social distancing guidelines can be maintained, all participants keep their masks on except when eating or drinking in their assigned seats. California residents over the age of 12 must show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, and any out-of-state visitors must show proof that they are fully vaccinated.  
  • Vaccinated-only section. A venue may lift the distancing requirement and operate certain sections at 100% capacity, including suites, if the operator meets the State’s minimum requirements and (1) confirms that all patrons 16 and up are fully vaccinated before they enter the venue, (2) requires a negative COVID-19 test for any patrons who are between the ages 2-15 and accompanying a parent or guardian who is fully vaccinated, (3) requires all patrons in the vaccination-only section to wear face coverings at all times unless otherwise exempted under the face covering order or eating or drinking in their seat, and (4) receives advance approval of a Health and Safety Plan from the Health Officer. All patrons in the vaccinated-only section count towards the venue’s permissible occupancy.  
  • Events with fewer than 4,000 audience members that do not include food or beverages do not require proof of vaccination or a negative test.
  • Events between 500 and 1,000 audience members that do not include food and beverages require a health and safety plan to be submitted to DPH but does not require approval. 
  • Events with fewer than 100 audience members and without a vaccination-only section do not require an approved Health and Safety Plan nor proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. 

·         Outdoor arts, music, and theater performances and festivals 

  • Organized outdoor arts and performance events may take place without reservations and seating requirements for up to 50 audience members with a health and safety plan submitted at least 5 days before the event. Festivals may be attended by either in-state residents, or out-of-state visitors who show proof of full vaccination.  Social distancing between audience members must be maintained.  
  • Seated concessions are expanded to groups of 8 individuals following outdoor dining or bar health guidelines.  

·         Outdoor Dining 

  • Outdoor dining will expand to up to 8 people per table without any limitation on number of households. Group reservations will expand to up to 25 people and allow mingling between tables with specific safety protocols.  

·         Bars, Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries 

  • Outdoor bars may expand to up to 8 people per table without limitations to number of households and group reservations may be made following outdoor dining rules.  
  • Indoor bars, wineries, breweries and distilleries that do not serve bona fide meals remain closed.  

·         Indoor Family Entertainment 

  • Capacity may increase for family recreation facilities allowed within the orange tier of up to 50% if all participants provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. 

·         Drive-in Events 

  • More than one household per vehicle at 25% vehicle capacity up to 25 people, if no food and beverages are consumed.  

·         Tour Boats and Buses 

  • Capacity may expand with no limit on the number of passengers. 
  • Indoor areas may open following required safety protocols. 

·         Film and Media Production including Live Streaming and Broadcasting 

  • Indoor and outdoor film production may proceed with up to 50 people in a single location with required testing and other safety protocols in place or if covered under the “COVID-19 Return to Work Agreement.”  
  • All other productions must have an approved Health and Safety plan. 

·         Childcare and Youth Out of School Time Programs 

  • Outdoors capacity may expand to up to 50 participants, excluding personnel and youth may participate in more than 2 programs at a time 
  • Indoors capacity may expand to up to 25 participants, excluding personnel 

·         Adult Education, Vocational Education, and Institutes of Higher Education 

  • Outdoor classes may expand to 50 participants 
  • In-person tours may apply following K-12 safety rules
  • Institutions are strongly encouraged to require unvaccinated students to quarantine for 10 days upon returning to campus or arriving from out-of-State for nonessential travel, and they must accommodate any unvaccinated students who wish to quarantine for 10 days after such travel. 

·         Indoor Sports and Recreation 

  • Informal indoor recreation can include up to 12 people with no limit on the number of households. 
  • Indoor recreation taking place in an organized and supervised context may expand to stable groups of 25 participants on each team and spectators are allowed consistent with rules set by the State.  
  • Competitions may resume with teams from the State of California. No out of state travel or matches with out of state teams.  
  • Youth and adults are encouraged but not required to participate in no more than 2 teams or programs a time, except that indoor high-contact sports must be limited to one activity at a time. 
  • Indoor swimming pools may allow up to two swimmers per lane maintaining 25% capacity and face coverings outside the pool. 

·         Outdoor Sports and Recreation 

  • Informal outdoor recreation can include up to 25 people with no limit on the number of households.  
  • Outdoor recreation taking place in an organized and supervised context may expand to include stable groups of 50 participants per team and spectators are allowed consistent with outdoor gatherings and rules set by the State.  
  • Competitions may resume with teams from throughout the State of California – no out of state travel or matches with out of state teams. 
  • Youth and adults are encouraged but not required to participate in no more than 2 teams or programs a time except that if they participate in an indoor high-contact sport they may only participate in that one program at a time. 
  • Outdoor pools may expand to full capacity and up to 4 swimmers per lane with distancing and face covering requirements outside of the pool. 
  • Outdoor playgrounds may expand to full capacity with distancing requirements. 

·         Indoor Gatherings 

  • While still strongly discouraged, small indoor social gatherings are expanded to up to the lesser of 25% capacity or 25 people with face coverings on at all times and distancing and ventilation measures encouraged. Special rules and allowances apply to small indoor gatherings involving fully vaccinated individuals.  

·         Indoor Religious Activities 

  • Indoor religious activities remain capped at up to 50% capacity.  Capacity guidelines apply to houses of worship as well as homes and other indoor settings, following safety protocols for indoor religious services.  Alternatively, individuals can gather indoors informally for religious exercise under the small gathering rules. 

·         Outdoor Gatherings 

  • Small outdoor social gatherings are expanded to allow up to 50 people when face coverings are worn at all times – 25 if attendees are eating or drinking.  

The following activities may loosen safety protocols as described below 

·         Indoor Dining 

  • Indoor dining will expand to include table top cooking and the 11pm end to service requirement is lifted. Tables are still limited to 6 people from up to 3 households.   

·         Retail 

  • Retail and Grocery stores are no longer strongly urged to offer special hours for unvaccinated older adults or otherwise vulnerable patrons.  
  • Bulk bins no longer require special signage. 

·         Hotels 

  • Cleaning personnel are no longer required to wear a non-vented N-95, though they must be provided at no cost if requested. They must continue to wear a well-fitted mask. 
  • Spa services may be provided in room following guidelines for indoor personal services. If requested, the spa services provider must provide a non-vented N-95 mask at no cost to its personnel. 

·         Gyms and Fitness 

  • Stationary aerobic equipment (like spin bikes and treadmills) can be placed 6 feet apart and aerobic fitness classes that use stationary equipment can resume with 6 foot spacing between participants, with a DPH-approved ventilation measure. 

·         Zoos, Aquariums and Museums 

  • Group reservations and guided tours may resume. 

The State has provided guidance on using proof of vaccination and negative COVID-19 test for additional capacities. Businesses should consult the “Addendum to Blueprint Activity & Business Tiers Chart – Tested and Fully Vaccinated Individuals and Sections.” Pursuant to that guidance: 

·         People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).

·         Proof of a negative COVID-19 test means a PCR test taken not more than 72 hours before the event or an antigen test taken not more than 24 hours before the event. 

San Francisco’s reopening updates will be available online tomorrow, April 15 at SF.gov/reopening.

PEOPLE 16 AND OLDER ARE NOW ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN SAN FRANCISCO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 

Contact: San Francisco Joint Information Center, dempress@sfgov.org

*** PRESS RELEASE ***

PEOPLE 16 AND OLDER ARE NOW ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN SAN FRANCISCO 

San Francisco to continue equity strategy to ensure residents of hardest-hit neighborhoods receive equitable access to vaccine

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax, and Director of the Department of Emergency Management Mary Ellen Carroll today announced that in accordance with state and federal guidance, all people age 16 and over in San Francisco are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Those newly eligible people age 16 and over should visit SF.gov/getvaccinated to learn about options for receiving the vaccine and to find links to schedule appointments at different vaccination sites.

Last week, San Francisco expanded eligibility to 16 and older in priority zip codes 94124, 94134, 94112, 94110, 94107, 94102, 94103, and 94130, which are communities that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the City will continue its efforts to ensure vaccines are administered equitably. This new expansion for all people 16 and over had originally been scheduled for April 15. In recent days, other counties in the Bay Area have begun to vaccinate people 16 and older, including Alameda County and Santa Clara County, so the City is moving sooner to open up eligibility in order to ensure access for San Francisco residents. Nearly 60% of people 16 and older in San Francisco have received at least one dose of the vaccine and the City is currently vaccinating roughly 12,000 residents per day.

“As we work to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible, this expanded eligibility is important progress in our fight against COVID-19. We’ve created a network of vaccination sites in our city, and San Franciscans are stepping up and getting vaccinated because we know that it’s our best shot to end this pandemic once and for all,” said Mayor Breed. “Even with limited supply, San Francisco continues to be well ahead of the national average for how many of our residents have been vaccinated. There’s an end to this pandemic in sight, and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen as soon as possible.”

The goal of San Francisco’s vaccination strategy is to make receiving the vaccine as convenient, comfortable and low-barrier for as many people as possible, particularly in those neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City has developed a robust distribution infrastructure that includes high-volume vaccination sites, neighborhood sites, community clinics, pharmacy partnerships, and mobile vaccination teams.

Across these efforts, San Francisco is averaging almost 12,000 doses a day, and nearly 60% percent of San Franciscans 16 and older have received at least one dose. More than 30% percent of San Franciscans have been fully vaccinated. Eighty-four percent of San Franciscans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 68% percent have been fully vaccinated.

“As eligibility expands citywide, we remain focused on ensuring equitable access to vaccine for those neighborhoods that have been most impacted by this pandemic,” said Dr. Grant Colfax. “We will continue to work with our community partners to ensure that vulnerable communities have ready access to the vaccine. With limited supply, we know that booking an appointment right away might be challenging, but we are expecting more vaccine towards the end of the month. I want to reassure everyone who is eligible that your opportunity is coming soon. In the meantime, please be patient, wear your masks, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and choose outdoor over indoor activities. Together, we can keep our curve flat and our city reopening.”

Despite this significant progress, insufficient vaccine supply remains the single biggest factor limiting the City’s vaccination effort. Because supply remains extremely limited while eligibility is expanding, it may take a number of weeks to find an available appointment. Eligible individuals should continue to be patient, should keep checking the website, and should accept the first vaccine that is offered, with the exception of people 16 and 17 years old, for whom Pfizer is currently the only approved vaccine. If San Francisco receives sufficient supply to meet the City’s distribution capacity, over 80% of adults could be vaccinated with first doses by mid-May.

San Francisco’s commitment to an equitable vaccination strategy has focused on reaching communities that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, including the Latino community and neighborhoods in the southeast of the city. A higher proportion of the Department of Public Health (DPH)-administered vaccinations have gone to people of color than the total citywide vaccinations. For example, the Latino population represents 14% percent of the City’s vaccine eligible population and has received more than 26% of DPH’s vaccinations. The vaccine dashboard also shows that the top three neighborhoods receiving the largest amount of DPH-controlled vaccines are the Bayview, Mission, and Excelsior.

“Equity is a critical element of San Francisco’s vaccination program. This is why San Francisco’s vaccine network emphasizes distribution and outreach in communities disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. “Partnering with community organizations allows us to work with trusted partners that help ensure that our vaccine operations and our outreach and engagement are conducted in a culturally appropriate and effective manner.”

Following today’s announcement from the CDC and FDA, San Francisco has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution until more is learned about the potential side effects. To date San Francisco has administered more than 33,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to residents with no known cases of blood clotting. As this adverse event is reported to be extremely rare with just over six reported cases nationwide, the City does not believe there is cause for immediate alarm. However, people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact their primary healthcare provider if they have concerns or if they develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the City. DPH will continue to monitor the situation and will look forward to hearing the outcome from the CDC’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices tomorrow to better understand the significance of these cases.

The state informed the City last week to expect a 33-35% percent decrease in the vaccine supply for the month of April caused by near-term supply challenges at the national level, as well as increasing proportions of California vaccines being delivered through the federal direct allocation programs to Federally Qualified Health Centers and pharmacies. Additionally, the City’s supply of Johnson & Johnson would decrease by upwards of 90% percent due to federal manufacturing issues. As the City only received 500 doses of Johnson & Johnson (out of 10,000 doses total) this week, this pause will not have a significant impact on this week’s vaccination efforts.

Vaccine Appointment Information 

In order to assist individuals with accessing appointments, the City has set up a call center to help people, especially those who are 65 and older, those with disabilities and those who are unable to easily access the internet or schedule an appointment through their provider. Individuals may call to learn about vaccine options and receive assistance in booking an appointment to some locations. The number is (628) 652-2700.  

Muni and Paratransit are free for anyone traveling to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is also providing additional access to taxi service for those using the Essential Trip Card. Information can be found at sfmta.com/COVID and sfmta.com/paratransit

Anyone who works or lives in San Francisco and is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can go to SF.gov/getvaccinated to find vaccination locations and make an appointment. The City will continue to provide regular updates to the public about the vaccine in San Francisco at SF.gov/covidvaccine.

Manny’s Restarts Live Programing Thursday, April 15

Media Contact: David Perry & Associates, Inc. (415) 676-7007 / news@davidperry.com

Manny’s Restarts Live Programing Thursday, April 15
“The Future of San Francisco” Outdoor Dinner Series
at Curio SF (775 Valencia)
www.welcometomannys.com

13 April 2021 – San Francisco, CA:  For the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic, Manny’s (www.welcometomannys.com), the popular community gathering spot, restaurant and bookstore, will re-start live/in person programming. Starting Thursday, April 15 at 6pm (doors, 5:30pm), “The Future of San Francisco” Outdoor Dinner Series will kick off at-and-in-partnership with Curio SF (775 Valencia). The first of the four-event series is entitled “Is San Francisco Becoming a Caricature of Itself?” —  a conversation between San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight and Joe Eskenazi of Mission Local on the state of San Francisco politics.   The event will also be available virtually via Zoom.  The price is$10 for Zoom and $65 per person for a three course meal and the in person event. Tickets are available online at: https://welcometomannys.com/events/

“I can’t wait to get back on a stage and dive into important topics with this incredible crew of journalists, artists, public servants and change makers,” said Manny Yekutiel, 31 who founded and runs the eponymous community engagement space and café dubbed “the New Hampshire of California” (KCBS Radio) for its hosting of myriad political events including hosting 17 Democratic presidential candidates. “We’ll be discussing the future of our City as we emerge from this unforgettable year. We’re going to learn and grow together and I’m just glad that we’re back!”

Below is the list of the entire series:

Thursday, April 15: Is San Francisco Becoming a Caricature of Itself? Discussion between journalists Heather Knight and Joe Eskenazi.

Thursday, April 22: Painting the Pandemic & Future of Public Art with Fnnch and Serge Gay Jr. 

Wednesday, May 5What is the Future of the Office in San Francisco? with SPUR CEO Alicia John-Baptiste

Thursday, May 13A New Era of Transit? How Will We Get Around Post Pandemic with SFMTA Board Chair Gwyneth Borden and SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin.

Since opening its doors on Election Night 2018, Manny’s has become an epicenter of community involvement, dialogue and civic engagement having served over 50,000 people, staged over 500 events, donated space to more than 150 area nonprofits and charities, and hosted 17 presidential candidates in his first year alone. Also, in addition to receiving much media and public attention, Manny’s was recognized for his above-and-beyond achievements by the California State Senate as “Small Business of the Year.” 

Manny’s is a people powered, community focused meeting and learning place in the heart of San Francisco that combines a restaurant, political bookshop, and civic events space. Manny’s goal: to create a central and affordable place to become a better informed and more involved citizen. Manny’s offers its events space to nonprofits, activists and civic organizations to spread their message and do their work as well as hosting its own civic and arts related programming. Manny’s kitchen is run by the non-profit, Farming Hope, which hires formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals and trains them in the food skills needed to work in the restaurant industry.

LIVES OF THE LINERS: CRUISING, CRUISE SHIPS & THE COVID PANDEMIC – APRIL 10, 2021

LIVES OF THE LINERS: CRUISING, CRUISE SHIPS & THE COVID PANDEMIC – APRIL 10, 2021

From Bill Miller

April 2021

Sun Apr 4th  Miami Mayor Daniella Levine Cava posted on social media that she had a conversation with the CDC Director, who informed her the agency will be providing cruise lines “shortly” with new guidance.

Wed Apr 7th Miami  The president of Carnival Cruise Line, the world’s largest cruise company, is turning up the volume on warnings that the company will move its ships out of the U.S.  With no end in sight to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s cruise industry shutdown, cruise companies say it’s a matter of survival to get business somewhere else. Carnival Cruise Line has more ships based at Port Canaveral than any other cruise company, making its cancellation of all cruises at least through June 30 a big deal.
An even bigger deal is its threat to take its ships out of U.S. ports because of the CDC’s cruise industry shutdown.

Thu Apr 8th Cancellations!  Cruise fans on Tuesday faced another barrage of cruise cancellations from some of the world’s biggest cruise lines. Industry giant Carnival Cruise Line said it had pushed back its return to service by another month with the cancellation of all June sailings. Also canceling all June sailings was Disney Cruise Line, and Disney also canceled all of its Europe sailings through Sep 18.

More cancellations also came on Tuesday from fast-growing Viking, which canceled all June and July sailings that had been on its schedule. In their place, the line announced plans to operate a very small number of voyages out of Bermuda and Reykjavik, Iceland, in addition to a handful of U.K. sailings.

In addition, as part of a return-to-service plan announced early Tuesday, Norwegian Cruise Line canceled all July and August sailings aboard eight of its 17 ships: Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Sun. Norwegian also canceled voyages on two more ships — Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Pearl — through Sep 1st and Nov 7th, respectively. For now, Norwegian only plans to restart operations over the summer with three vessels.

Norwegian’s two sister brands, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, also canceled more voyages on Tuesday, removing all July sailings from their schedules. Both lines now plan to restart operations in August.

The flurry of cancellations came even as more cruise lines announce plans to restart cruise departures in very limited ways over the summer. Norwegian’s announcement on Tuesday included plans for new sailings out of Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Greece starting in July and August.

Also on Tuesday, Seabourn revealed plans to restart cruising in July with sailings of a single ship operating out of Piraeus, Greece (the port for Athens).

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises & Crystal Cruises in recent days also have announced new or expanded restart plans that involve a small number of ships.

Fri Apr 9th Virgin Voyages is the latest cruise line moving sailings abroad as the timeline to resume cruising in U.S. waters remains unclear.  “Virgin Voyages has been looking forward to sailing, and we’re so excited to announce our plans to sail from the UK,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, in a statement. 

The cruise line had a slow start because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which squashed Virgin’s plans to launch in April 2020. But after multiple delays, its first ship, Scarlet Lady, will make its debut in August in the United Kingdom with a series of voyages open to residents of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The Scarlet Lady will be departing from Portsmouth, England, with all passengers and crew required to be fully vaccinated.

Viking Ocean Cruises will require all passengers to be vaccinated for its summer cruises, making it the latest cruise line to make the jab mandatory on board. The cruise line will open up summer sailings to Bermuda and Iceland in June, requiring guests to be both inoculated as well as undergo saliva PCR tests at embarkation and “frequent” testing throughout the journey. Additionally, Viking will add more sailings to its “England’s Scenic Shores” cruises in the United Kingdom, which it started offering in May for British citizens.

Carnival Corporation will have nine ships operating soon between its AIDA, Costa, Cunard, Princess, P&O UK and Seabourn brands, and hopes to continue with a staggered restart.  How many ships will it take before the financials start looking better? Using 2019 as a baseline, a fleet of 25 ships operating may be the magic number, according to David Bernstein, chief financial officer, speaking on the company’s first quarter business update call on Wednesday.

Bernstein said that using 2019 numbers, if the company had its top 25 ships operating, at full occupancy, they would generate enough cash flow to cover the pause costs of 60 to 65 other ships  Full occupancy will take time however, as Arnold Donald, CEO, said that initial sailings from the UK would start at modest occupancy levels.

Sat Apr 10th The Long Beach City Council moved forward this week on a plan to possibly transfer control of the land that encompasses the iconic but financially beleaguered Queen Mary to the Long Beach Harbor Commission, which governs the Port of Long Beach.

Cruising remains the only sector of the economy that is prohibited by the U.S. Government from operating at this time. This is due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Conditional Sailing Order, which bans cruise ships from sailing from ports in this country.

This has been a great source of frustration not only to cruise lines and cruise fans but also to the State of Florida, where many homeports, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral, are located. On Thursday, TPG reported that the state of Florida had filed suit against the federal government to force it to allow cruise lines to resume sailing out of U.S. ports.

Celebrity and the Sunshine State aren’t alone in this fight, though. Major players in the industry, from Norwegian Cruise Line to Royal Caribbean to the industry’s CLIA association, are all asking Congress to take action. They believe it’s necessary to restart cruising from U.S. ports and their customers agree. According to Celebrity’s email, more than 300,000 jobs have been lost in the U.S. because of the suspension of cruise travel.

Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Cruise Lines are sending empty ocean liners to the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent to assist with the evacuation of thousands of people as an eruption from La Soufriere volcano appears likely.

“An explosive phase of the eruption may begin with very little warning,” the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center said in a statement to the Associated Press.   The Carnival Legend and Carnival Paradise vessels along with Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection (RC and Celebrity have the same parent company) are expected to dock at the island Friday to help transport some of the 16,000 people who live within the volcano’s red zone and have been forced to evacuate.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday the state will file a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demanding cruise ships be allowed to resume sailing immediately.

Princess Cruises has announced that it will be leveraging new satellites for what it’s calling “super-charged internet connectivity,” and is now promoting its ships as the perfect “remote workstation” for virtual workers who need fast internet for their jobs.

Upon its return to sailing, every ship in the Princess Cruises fleet will feature land-like connectivity as part of its MedallionNet wifi service. MedallionNet’s seamless integration will ensure that passengers can work from their deck chairs as efficiently as in their office back home, with access to their cloud-based applications such as storage, videoconferencing, and email.

There will be an access point in every stateroom and every public area across the ships, meaning passengers wishing to go online won’t have to be sitting in that one corner of the lounge to get high-speed wifi.

Crystal Cruises:  Less than a month after announcing its roundtrip Bahamas sailings for this summer, Crystal is back with another 2021 cruise option: Iceland.  The Crystal Endeavor is Crystal Expedition Cruises’ very first ship, and she will be spending her inaugural season circumnavigating the beautiful landscapes of Iceland. The vessel will operate five 10-night immersive voyages in the region beginning July 17th.

More from Crystal:  Crystal continues to be at the forefront of the cruise industry’s return as the company announced that the Crystal Symphony will sail a series of 15 10-night Luxury Caribbean Escapes round-trip from St. John’s, becoming the first ship ever to homeport in Antigua. Beginning August 5 through December, including a holiday sailing on December 23, the Crystal Symphony will visit the island locales of Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago*, St. Maarten and British Virgin Islands, offering travelers tropical luxuries and ample wide-open spaces to discover the local cultures with plentiful air options from most major U.S. cities. Crystal Symphony’s return to sailing marks the resumption of service for 97 percent of Crystal’s oceangoing fleet in the summer of 2021.

Out of the old shoebox:   Above:   Independence at Pier 84, New York, 1966;   below:   Angelina Lauro at Capetown.

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Thank you to all our readers, correspondents, those “agents” in faraway places! 

Hotel Council of San Francisco Takes “25 x 25 Pledge”

Media Contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry (415) 676-7007 / news@davidperry.com 

Hotel Council of San Francisco Takes “25 x 25 Pledge”

Initiative Guarantees at Least One Quarter of Council Leadership
Comprised of Underrepresented Communities by 2025

5 April 2021— San Francisco, CA: In an ongoing effort to better serve its membership and visitors  the Hotel Council of San Francisco (www.hotelcouncilsf.org) has announced that it is signing on to the 25 x 25 Pledge (www.pledge25x25.org) initiated by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group guaranteeing that by 2025 the number of underrepresented individuals in its leadership will increase by at least 25%.

“San Francisco is rightly proud of its deserved reputation as a City that celebrates diversity and understands that such diversity is the foundation of our brand and our economy,” said Kevin Carroll, Hotel Council President and CEO. “Having said that, one of the things that 2020 has shown us is that all of us can do better, and that includes the Hotel Council.  We hope that more and more companies, and organizations, will step up and take this pledge. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do.”

Companies that take the pledge commit that by 2025 at least 25% of their leadership will be individuals from underrepresented groups — people of color, members of the LGBTQ communities and women, or that they will see at least a 25% boost in underrepresented executives in leadership roles. In addition, participating groups commit to increase resources by 25% by 2025 for funding and/or community engagement for underrepresented groups to expand minority talent.  Those taking part in the “25 x 25” pledge also commit to educating their workforces about inclusion and unconscious bias and report progress to their stakeholders, members, clients and vendors.

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is imperative to a company’s overall success,” said Kelly Powers, Hotel Council Director,who initiated and directed the Council’s education and outreach efforts including participation in “25 x 25” and the landmark series of DEI webinars. “A diverse team leads to innovation, creativity and new perspectives that help companies succeed. A focus on diversity also recognizes unconscious bias is a part of corporate environments. Through education and meaningful conversations, companies can make meaningful change by proactively hiring people of color, women and members of the LGBTQ communities.”

The third of the Hotel Council’s DEI webinars takes place tomorrow, April 6 at 11am PST. Facilitated by Cassandra Pye, partner at Lucas Public Affairs and featuring Renel Brooks-Moon longtime announcer for The San Francisco Giants and Veronica Velazquez, Senior Manager for Global Inclusion & Diversity at The Expedia Group, the webinar will focus on Unconscious Bias in the workplace and how if affects our decisions, behaviors and interactions.  Additional DEI webinars are scheduled for June 10 and September 9.

“Understanding such implicit bias is key,” says Powers. “It is how we begin to dismantle structural inequality and achieve our social justice goals.”

According to a recent study by McKinsey and Company, a lack of diversity in business narrows perspective and promotes exclusion of other people’s experiences and opportunities. In addition, the economic benefits are evident when teams are more diverse.

“By taking part in the ’25 x 25 pledge, we demonstrate our commitment to progress on this issue as a visible leader to our employees and partners,” said Powers. 

“As leaders in the hotel and hospitality industry we must be where our clients are,” Carroll summed up. “Businesses who come to San Francisco for conventions and conferences see us as allies on this issue.”

The Hotel Council of San Francisco is a non-profit membership-based organization advocating for the economic and social vitality of the hospitality industry in San Francisco. With a membership roster of over 200 hotels, allied members, and partner organizations, the Council is dedicated to protecting the San Francisco hospitality industry and connecting its members to support its growth and success.

Companies signed on to the “25 x 25” Pledge to date: 

  • 49ers
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Bay Area Council
  • Children’s Hospital
  • Facebook
  • Hotel Council of San Francisco
  • NAACP
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Santa Clara University
  • Stanford Hospital
  • Twitter
  • United Airlines
  • Western Digital
  • Zoom