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April 12, 2021

How to Experience San Francisco Safely: What's Open

COVID Status: Orange (Moderate)

April 2, 2021 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated Americans can resume domestic and overseas travel as long as they wear masks in public. The individuals do not need to get a Covid-19 test before or after domestic travel and do not need to self-quarantine on return, as long as they follow public health measures.

March 23, 2021 - Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced that San Francisco will resume most businesses and activities that are allowed by the State in the orange tier for counties with moderate transmission levels, following the City’s assignment to that tier. With some exceptions, San Francisco’s reopening will align with what is permitted by the State. New and expanded businesses and activities can reopen starting Wednesday, March 24 at 8:00 a.m., as long as they comply with required safety protocols.

The following activities will be allowed or expanded as of Wednesday, March 24, 2021:

  • Indoor dining at restaurants, bars serving meals, cafes and coffee shops, hotels, museums, and food courts in shopping malls may open at up to the lesser of 50% maximum occupancy or 200 people.
  • Outdoor dining may remove restrictions of number of households seated at a table and may allow group reservations of up to two tables outdoors (12 people maximum). Tables remain limited to 6 guests. Tables may be seated outdoors for drink service only.
  • Bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries may open for outdoor, seated table service of up to 6 people at a table without the provision of a meal.
  • Indoor bowling alleys, mini golf, pool halls, and other family entertainment where individuals may readily maintain at least 6 feet of distance may open up to 25% capacity with groups consisting of members of one household. Outdoor operations may continue.
  • Indoor personal services may expand to 50% customer capacity.
  • Gyms and climbing walls may reopen indoors at up to 50% capacity.
  • Indoor museums, zoos and aquariums can open at up to 50% capacity with an approved safety plan. Outdoor zoos may expand to full capacity outdoors, with physical distancing in place under an approved safety plan.
  • Outdoor stand-alone amusement rides like Ferris wheels, carousels, and train rides will open. Only one household can inhabit each separate space, such as a Ferris wheel cabin or train car.
  • Open-air boats and busses may operate outdoor operations of up to 12 passengers or physically distanced groups of 12
  • Outdoor live entertainment in a drive-in context may increase beyond 6 entertainers to whatever is possible with physical distancing in place and may include singing and playing wind and brass instruments following applicable health rules including face coverings and maintaining 12 feet of distancing between households.
  • Indoor movie theaters may open at up to the lesser of 50% or 200 people capacity, but without food or beverage concessions.
  • Small outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people from three households can continue. Outdoor gatherings that involve food and drink may expand to up to six people from three households.
  • Hotels will be allowed to resume operations for tourism use, and can accept visitors from outside the Bay Area. Hotels and lodging facilities can open dining and fitness facilities in accordance with guidelines.
  • Up to three households may engage in recreational activities that allow social distancing, including low-contact sports such as hiking, biking, dancing, and including those that share equipment such as balls and Frisbees
  • Expands to allow foursomes for golf, but limits to one household per cart and requires staggered tee times.
  • Expands to allow doubles for tennis limited to members of one household per team.

Several San Francisco businesses have also released safety and cleanliness pledges to ensure that you are comfortable when you are able to visit. We hope you'll do your part to keep yourself and our residents safe, too.



Masks and face coverings are required indoors and outdoors and practice social distancing of at least six feet apart from other people. Frequently washing yours hands is highly recommended.


San Francisco International Airport has pioneered the practice of traveling well. Upgraded cleaning procedures, protective barriers, numerous hand sanitizer stations and mandated mask-wearing throughout the terminals protect your safety.


At this time, indoor museums, zoos and aquariums can open at up to 50% capacity with an approved safety plan, while outdoor operations can open at full capacity. Outdoor stand-alone amusement rides like Ferris wheels, carousels, and train rides will also open.


San Francisco's hotels are open and can accept visitors from outside of the Bay Area for non-essential travel. Hotels can also open dining and fitness facilities in accordance with guidelines.


San Francisco restaurants are permitted to offer indoor dining at up to the lesser of 50% maximum occupancy or 200 people, outdoor dining for members of three households up to six people per table, takeout, and delivery. Bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries may open for outdoor, seated table service.


Special gatherings may only be held outdoors and may not exceed 25 persons. Starting April 1, outdoor festivals and sporting events can open with assigned seating and capacity restrictions. San Francisco Travel is working with City and State policymakers to establish guidelines for future events. For more information regarding upcoming Meetings & Conventions, please contact our Convention Sales department.


San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Transportation

As San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area reopens, the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is looking to welcome visitors back and ensure that the safety and health of passengers is their top priority. In an effort to ensure that passengers feel comfortable traveling and workers safe, SFO continues to enhance the airport and their cleaning procedures. They have implemented the following health protocols:

  • Everyone must wear a mask or facial covering while at SFO.
  • Physical Distancing practices are in effect at the Airport. Please keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others. To help maintain proper spacing, we’ve installed markers in queuing and seating areas.
  • Public health signage is posted in areas throughout the airport, including messaging encouraging social distancing and frequent hand washing.
  • increased the cleaning of touch points such as handrails, buttons and door handles with an EPA-approved effective germicidal agent that kills all coronaviruses and is outlined in CDC recommendations for cleaning and disinfection.
  • Deployment of battery-operated sprayers and all-surface cleaning equipment for specialized and as-needed cleaning requirements.
  • Several hand sanitizer stations located throughout the terminals
  • SFO staff have been actively working to make air travel less stressful by reducing the amount of background noise that travelers are exposed to inside the terminals.

No matter how you get around San Francisco, you can trust that the transportation partners are taking extra precautions for a clean and safe journey.



San Francisco offers a range of hotels and accommodations in neighborhoods across the City. Hotels are committed to providing the world-class hospitality you’ve come to know and love, as well as a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guests are encouraged to check with individual properties for specific cleaning and safety measures, but all major hotels have released COVID safety protocols. We hope you've missed us because we can't wait to welcome you back. Before you come, here are a few things to be aware of so that you can visit safely.


The Moscone Center

The Moscone Center team continues to actively seek clear direction from state and local officials relative to the capacities and protocols they can expect at the time of re-opening the convention center. The dedicated team at Moscone Center is pleased to share some of the initiatives they have already undertaken to help ensure a safe and healthy environment in anticipation of that reactivation. For an entire list of current initiatives and ongoing work being performed by their team, please click below.



Northern California has robust agriculture, providing top-quality ingredients to the chefs of our city year-round. Even now, under the current situation, people in San Francisco can dine on some of the best food in the world, as the city’s restaurants retool their culinary excellence for indoor dining at 50% capacity, outdoor dining, take-out, and delivery service. Bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries may open for outdoor, seated table service.


Major Attractions

Because San Francisco moved into the red tier in the State of California reopening bluelprint, city attractions like indoor museums, zoos and aquariums can reopen at 50% capacity. Outdoor stand-alone amusement rides like SkyStar Wheel in Golden Gate Park, carousels, and train rides will also open.Here is a list of major attractions that are welcoming visitors back.

  • Alcatraz - Tours are available starting March 12. Only the outdoor tour is available at this time.
  • Asian Art Museum - Timed tickets are required for entry, and are quick and easy to reserve.
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum - The CJM is scheduled to welcome back visitors starting April 17. Entry to the museum will be organized through timed tickets, which you can purchase online.
  • de Young Museum - The de Young now requires timed tickets for every visitor, both for general admission and for entry to view special exhibitions.
  • Japanese Tea Garden - If you're looking to get outdoors or find some tranquil space, San Francisco's Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is the perfect place to go.
  • PIER 39 - Guests can enjoy magnificent views, fun shopping, fresh seafood, beer, wine, and cocktails, all while sitting at new outside dining areas.
  • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens - Visitors can enjoy an urban oasis, filled with beautiful and amazing animals from every corner of the world.
  • SFMOMA - SFMOMA is scheduled to welcome back visitors starting March 7. Entry to the museum will be organized through timed tickets, which you can purchase online.


They may not be the hot and sunny kind that Southern California is known for, but San Francisco has no shortage of beaches. If you’re looking for a beautiful outdoor excursion where you can keep your distance, San Francisco’s beaches offer breathtaking views as well as plenty of hiking, surfing, relaxing and more.



With more than 220 parks and open spaces, the possibilities for experiencing the great outdoors in San Francisco are endless.



For a city that’s easy to navigate without a car, there’s a lot of driving—and putting—in San Francisco. Here's our round-up of great golf courses both public and private, within and beyond San Francisco city limits.



If you're ready to go beyond regular walking tours and actually hike through San Francisco and beyond, we've got options and space for everyone. One specific option is the new Crosstown Trail, which offers you the chance to bike, hike, and run along a 17-mile route that crosses diagonally through San Francisco. Venture through some of the neighborhoods, parks, and cultural sites that make this city special.


Additional Resources

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