August 28, 2020
Haircuts, barber services, massages, and nail services are among personal services that can resume operating outdoors
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Public Health, today announced that outdoor personal services will resume in San Francisco, effective Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Outdoor gyms and fitness centers can reopen starting September 9, 2020. Additionally, the Mayor and Dr. Colfax announced that once San Francisco is removed from the State’s watch list, the City’s top priorities for reopening will be the gradual opening of classrooms, services that support the development of children, and other activities that can occur outdoors.
Outdoor personal services that can operate include haircuts, barber services, massages and nail services. Only those services where both clients and providers can be masked at all times are allowed to resume. The City has posted information and guidance in multiple languages for businesses and is conducting outreach to personal services businesses to ensure they have access to the guidance and are able to prepare accordingly.
“All businesses in San Francisco are struggling, and while many have been able to reopen with modifications in place, providers of personal services like hair salons, barber shops and massage establishments have remained shuttered. This has created a huge financial challenge for their owners and employees, and I am so glad that those businesses will soon be able to reopen for outdoor service,” said Mayor Breed. “We know it won’t be seamless to operate outdoors, but we stand ready to support with programs like Shared Spaces and health and safety guidance so that people can get back to work while also protecting themselves and their clients.”
The San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 infection as more of the city population circulates and interacts, and will keep reviewing the City’s Key Public Health Indicators to ensure San Francisco’s gradual reopening and allowance of outdoor personal services does not drive a surge in infections and hospitalizations.
“San Francisco led the nation and saved lives with our measured approach to re-opening,” said Dr. Grant Colfax. “Our priority is moving forward with an incremental phased approach that helps us avert large outbreaks, avoids overwhelming our healthcare system and lessens the possibility of more severe damage to our economy. We will monitor the virus as we gradually reopen activities for children as well as outdoor businesses to gauge the spread of the virus and our ability to manage and contain it.”
“It’s important that we continue to find ways for business to reopen even if it means starting outdoors,” said Assessor Carmen Chu, Co-Chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force. “The coming months will be the warmest, followed by the high retail season. Let’s give business a fighting chance and understand that the small sacrifices we individually make, like wearing a mask, can make the difference on reopening and help save a business.”
“As a City, we are going to continue doing everything we can to support our small businesses while protecting the health and safety of workers and the public,” said Joaquin Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Reopening personal services outdoors is our next step, but the goal is to keep taking these steps as quickly as it’s safe to do so. We’re talking with businesses and our Public Health leaders daily to ensure San Francisco is exploring every option to safely expand new opportunities for reopening.”
In May, Mayor Breed announced the creation of the Shared Spaces Program to support neighborhoods by providing additional public space to support local business activities. Shared Spaces allows neighborhood businesses to share a portion of the public right-of-way, such as sidewalks, full or partial streets, or other nearby public spaces like parks and plazas for neighborhood retail activity, as allowed by San Francisco’s Public Health Order. The program allows individual businesses or local merchant associations to apply for a no-cost, expedited permit to share the sidewalk or parking lane for business purposes. The City has issued 1,215 Shared Spaces permits to date.
In addition to Shared Spaces, San Francisco has provided financial assistance through grant and loan programs to support small businesses. Since the pandemic began, San Francisco has allocated $17.2 million to support over 1,130 small businesses.
Once San Francisco is off the State’s watch list and DPH determines it is safe to begin reopening, the City’s gradual reopening will focus on equity and safety, opening those areas with the least risk while helping those who are suffering as a result of the Stay Home Order. Schools, community hubs and after-school programs provide a critical source of support for children, youth, and their families, and helped mitigate socio-economic disparities through school meal programs and social, physical, behavioral, and mental health services. Therefore, returning children to learning environments, whether it is a classroom, a Community Hub, or after school program, remains a top priority for the City.
Since San Francisco remains on the State’s watch list, in-classroom learning can continue only for elementary schools with a waiver from DPH. To date, 53 schools have notified DPH of their desire to apply for waivers for in classroom learning. Waiver applications will be distributed next week.
Focused enrollment for the City’s Community Hubs began this week and is offered to select families based on priority population criteria, which includes HOPE SF, public housing; homeless youth; foster care youth; English language learners; low-income African American, Latino, Pacific Islander and Asian families. More information about this program can be found here.
Information and guidance for outdoor personal service is available here: https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/covid-guidance/2020-23-Guidance-Outdoor-Personal-Services.pdf
This press release was produced by the Office of the San Francisco Mayor. The views expressed here are the author’s own.