CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO EXTEND MANDATORY TRAVEL QUARANTINE AND STAY SAFER AT HOME HEALTH ORDERS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2020
Contact: Joint Information Center
(415) 558-2712, email@example.com
*** PRESS RELEASE ***
CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO EXTEND MANDATORY TRAVEL QUARANTINE AND STAY SAFER AT HOME HEALTH ORDERS
As cases surge and regional ICU bed capacity continues to fall, San Francisco extends requirement that those traveling into San Francisco from outside of the Bay Area quarantine for 10 days and extends the local Stay Safer at Home order.
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced the extension beyond January 4th of the public health order implemented on December 17th that places a mandatory quarantine of 10 days on anyone traveling, moving, or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area and discouraging any non-essential travel. The extension to the travel quarantine order responds to the significant prevalence of the coronavirus throughout the State and Country as well as the need to reduce the exposure and isolate people who may be contagious in order to protect our region’s ability to provide intensive care for critically ill patients. The order also protects against the spread of a new variant of the virus detected recently in the United Kingdom, Colorado, and California.
Additionally, San Francisco extended its local Stay Safer at Home order implemented on December 3rd and subsequently required on December 17 by the State of California when the Bay Area’s ICU bed availability fell below 15%. The earliest the State could lift its Regional Stay at Home order for the Bay Area is January 7th. But due to ongoing regional ICU capacity limitations and continuing increase of cases, San Francisco does not expect the Bay Area will meet the State’s thresholds for lifting the order by that date.
The extension of both health orders will continue until the Bay Area Region is no longer subject to the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order. Once the State lifts its Regional Stay at Home order, San Francisco will reassess the key health indicators to determine if they support relaxing the current restrictions on businesses and activities, and resuming the measured re-opening process, guided by the State’s tier framework. Those key health indicators include ICU bed availability and other hospital capacity system-wide in San Francisco, as well as COVID-19 case rates. As of Wednesday, December 30th the Bay Area’s ICU capacity hovered at approximately 7.5% and cases continued to climb regionally, indicating that it is unlikely demand for ICU care will decline in the coming weeks. It will also be at least two weeks before the City fully understands the impact of travel and gatherings associated with the December and 2021 New Year’s holidays. DEMpress@sfgov.org 415-558-2712
Preliminary data shows that the Stay Safer at Home order and the travel quarantine order seem to have slowed the infections. Though cases continue to climb, they are increasing at a slower rate than when the orders were implemented. As a result of our collective actions, more than 400 deaths may have prevented.
Public Health officials are watching the data carefully to see what impact the December holidays will have on case rates and hospital capacity. They expect to better understand this impact and project when the Bay Area may meet the State’s threshold for lifting the order in the weeks following the holidays.
“We have been proactive in putting the stay at home order and travel quarantine in place to protect San Franciscans and in the hopes that by acting quickly, we could flatten the curve and re-open faster,” said Mayor Breed. “This seems to be working but we need more time to determine that we are moving in the right direction and that the December holidays don’t set us back. There are glimmers of hope and now is not the time to let up.”
Travel outside the Bay Area increases an individual’s chance of getting infected and spreading the virus to others upon their return. Moreover, in light of the first case of the new strain of COVID originating in the UK being detected in the United States and because the nature of travel often includes interactions and close contact with many people, reducing travel as much as possible and quarantining after any travel outside of the Bay Area is of critical importance to stopping the spread of the virus.
“The steps we have taken together have served us well, but the fact remains that San Francisco is in the midst of its worst surge yet,” said Dr. Grant Colfax. “We must continue to take the preventative measures that we know slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Please continue to avoid gatherings, wear facial coverings, and keep your distance. We’ve crushed the curve before and can do it again.”
The travel quarantine order strongly discourages non-essential travel of any kind and within any distance, including from one location to another within the Bay Area. Additionally, it requires anyone who comes to San Francisco to quarantine for 10 days if they spent any time outside the following 9 Bay Area counties: San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Santa Cruz. This includes returning residents, people moving to San Francisco, those who work in San Francisco, and visitors, unless specifically exempted by the order. The travel quarantine order allows exemptions for medical professionals, first responders, official government business, essential infrastructure work, and other activities, including any travel to receive medical care or travel required by a court order, like transferring custody of a child. People transiting through San Francisco International Airport on connecting flights and not staying overnight in San Francisco are not required to quarantine. For a full list of exemptions visit www.sfcdcp.org/travel.
Individuals required to quarantine must remain home without physical interaction with others who are not part of their household except in emergency or health care situations. They are not allowed to go to work, school, or any other venue outside their home for 10 days. For further assistance during quarantine, visit sf.gov/quarantining-covid-19.
The Stay Safer at Home order placed restrictions on activities as described below. DEMpress@sfgov.org 415-558-2712
The following activities must remain temporarily closed until further notice:
- • Personal services. Establishments offering personal care services including hair and nail salons, barbers, tattoo, piercing, estheticians and massage must cease operations, including both indoor and outdoor operations.
- • Outdoor dining. Restaurants and any other establishments offering meal service, may only operate for delivery or take-out. Eating and drinking on the premises, including in shared spaces, is prohibited.
- • Outdoor museums, aquariums, and zoos. Outdoor installations or exhibits associated with museums, aquariums, or zoos may not allow entrance to visitors. Outdoor botanical gardens and historic sites may remain open.
- • Indoor gyms. Limited 1:1 personal training within gyms and fitness centers that was allowed under the previous health order must cease, but may take place outdoors (see below).
- • Drive-in gatherings. Drive in theaters and other performances delivered in a drive-in context must cease.
- • Outdoor family entertainment centers. Outdoor family entertainment centers including skate parks, roller and ice skating rinks, batting cages, go kart racing and miniature golf must close.
- • Open-air bus and boat operators. Operators of open-air busses offering sightseeing and other tour services and open-air boat excursions, including leisure and fishing expeditions, must cease operations.
The following activities must continue to operate at reduced capacity:
- • Retail. All retail establishments such as shopping centers, hardware stores, convenience stores, equipment rental, and specialty shops, must reduce capacity to 20% (and implement a metering system (see below). Standalone grocery stores can operate at 35% capacity.
- • Low Contact Retail. Service oriented retail such as dog groomers, electronics repair services and shoe repair services can operate in a curbside drop off context only.
The following activities may continue with the stated modifications in place:
- • Hotels and lodging. Hotels may only accept reservations from essential workers travelling for work purposes or to support critical infrastructure including accommodations for isolation and quarantine purposes. If an individual from out of state who is not travelling for essential purposes makes a reservation, it must be at least for the number of days required for quarantine. The persons identified in the reservation must quarantine in the hotel or lodging facility for the entirety of the time required. Reservations from non-essential travelers residing in CA may not be accepted or honored.
- • Small gatherings. Small outdoor gatherings must limit themselves to members of 1 household with a maximum number of 12 people, or a maximum of 2 individuals from 2 households. Face coverings must remain on at all times except when eating or drinking. Indoor gatherings among different households are not allowed.
- • Outdoor gyms. Outdoor gym or fitness center activities as well as outdoor fitness in-person group classes (such as boot camps, dance, yoga, tai-chi, etc.) are limited to groups of 12
- people, including personnel, and must maintain strict distance and face covering requirements. Running groups are prohibited.
- • Youth sports. Youth sports activities affiliated with a childcare program, Out of School Time program, or other organized and supervised youth sports program may continue operating outdoors only without competitions or spectators and with strict social distancing and face covering requirements in place.
- • Indoor activities open to public. Any establishment allowing members of the public to access indoor areas, including shopping centers, grocery stores, corner stores, financial services, hardware stores, pharmacies, etc. must establish a metering system to monitor capacity thresholds and ensure capacity does not exceed limits. In effect, a business will need to assign a specific staff person to monitor the number of people in the establishment and ensure that the 20% capacity threshold (or 35% capacity for standalone grocery stores) is maintained at all times. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
- • Adult Recreation. No/low contact adult recreational activities such as golf, tennis, pickle ball, and bocce ball may continue outdoors subject to limits (golf limited to twosomes and members of different households may not share a cart; tennis and pickleball limited to singles with no shared equipment).
Also, the State’s Limited Stay at Home Order remains in effect, which requires non-essential businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am and restricts gatherings during that period. The State’s Limited Stay at Home Order does not affect take-out and delivery by restaurants, essential workers, or public transit.
Additional information about which businesses and activities can operate in San Francisco and what modifications are required at this time is available at www.sf.gov/step-by-step/reopening-san-francisco. For the full health order and answers to frequently asked questions about the health order, visit www.sfcdcp.org/travel. For information on celebrating the holidays safely at home, visit www.sf.gov/HolidaysAtHome.