Skip to main content


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


Almost half of city’s hotels remain closed; hurt by new “Healthy Buildings” ordinance

3 August 2020 — SAN FRANCISCO, CA: More than 10,000 San Francisco hotel employees are out of work and nearly half of the city’s hotels are closed representing more than half of all guest rooms, according to state data compiled through July 31 as San Francisco remains one of only four California counties not allowing hotels to reopen, the Hotel Council of San Francisco announced today.

The 10,899 employees furloughed, temporarily laid off and, increasingly, permanently laid off, represent 44 percent of San Francisco’s 25,000 hotel workers while the 92 closed hotels represent 42 percent of the city’s 215 hotels. The data was compiled by the California Employment Development Department and with the Hotel Council’s own statistics.

Hotels have not been allowed to be open for tourists since mid-March and now face increased health risks for employees imposed by the Board of Supervisors’ “Healthy Buildings” ordinance signed by Mayor Breed on July 17. The ordinance demands the daily cleaning of guest rooms even when the guest stays a second night, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, which is counter to all public health recommendations. 

“The new so-called ‘Healthy Buildings’ ordinance has made a bad situation worse,” said Kevin Carroll, President and CEO of the Hotel Council of San Francisco. “San Francisco’s hotels already are prepared to have the most-stringent cleaning protocols in the nation. Many of our hotel jobs will never come back as some hotels will be forced to close forever.”

San Francisco hotels have worked closely with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, Gov. Newsom, California Department of Public Health, Cal/OSHA and San Francisco’s public health office to develop health safety standards that exceed any other industry, short of hospitals. Those Clean + Safe guidelines were issued more than two months before the Healthy Buildings ordinance became law. The hotel health standards for employees include:

  • Customized COVID-19 plans to include all areas of a hotel’s operations
  • Employee safety trainings in English & Spanish
  • Clear and appropriate social distancing signage
  • Delivery and use of personal protective equipment for employees
  • Cleaning directions that keep employees and guests safe

The hotel standards follow the CDC, CDPH and Cal/OSHA recommendations that have been utilized as guidance for reopening by 54 of 58 California counties.