11th-hour haircuts, dining, gatherings before the Bay Area lockdown begins

New restrictions took effect just after midnight Monday morning with stay-at-home orders implemented for millions of residents in five of the nine Bay Area counties: San Francisco, Alameda County, including the City of Berkeley, as well as Santa Clara and Contra Costa Counties. Marin County's order will take effect after midnight on Tuesday.

At The Shop in Berkeley, the salon and barbershop crew arrived to find customers lined up and waiting outside their door Sunday morning, as people tried to get a final haircut before the restrictions closing salons kicked in.

The Shop's manager Zulema Crow says they opened the doors early and kept them open late.

"It's making people feel better and, I mean, that's definitely what we need throughout these times," said Crow, "There is still a little bit of anxiety for everyone. We just don't know when this is going to end."

"A lot of the employees were on unemployment," Crow added.

The stay-at-home orders aim to reduce the number of COVID19 hospitalization and prevent hospital systems from being overwhelmed.

Among the restrictions:

  • *Personal services such as barbershops, hair and nail salons, and tattoo parlors must shut down.
  • *Gyms and fitness centers are limited to 12 people outdoors only.
  • *Retail is limited to 20% capacity.
  • *Restaurants will be limited to take out and delivery...with no more indoor or outdoor dining at street-side parklets.
  • *Dog walking and outdoor exercise are still fine, but the order calls for no mixing with other households.

The five counties and Berkeley decided to act before the region's ICU bed numbers drop below the state's threshold of 15% ICU bed capacity. Santa Clara's capacity has already dropped to 14% and other counties are expected to drop by the end of the month.

Small business owners, though, aren't sure their businesses can survive.

"This is another punch in the stomach for small businesses and I'm really afraid we're gonna see another wave of businesses closing up," said Vas Kiniris with the Filmore Merchants Association.

Kiniris says already the Filmore district has 20 vacant storefronts, as some businesses haven't been able to survive the pandemic restrictions.

"This is a record, we've never had 20 this many vacancies," said Kiniris.

Some people had a final meal dining out before the shutdown.

"We did make it a point to get some lunch today, outdoor dining right before they closed down," said Mike Toma of San Francisco, who says he thinks the restrictions are necessary but difficult to sustain, "It is a bit frustrating. I think a lot of us are getting stir crazy."

At Golden Gate Park, one group wearing masks, had a final game of bocce on the lawn.

After Sunday, the stay-at-home order includes no indoor or outdoor gatherings with other households.

"Since the lockdown, we haven't really gone anywhere besides grocery stores and restaurants," said Giulia Klein of San Francisco.

Yvette Willis, a Palo Alto parent, brought her son Zach and daughter Olivia to San Francisco to ride bicycles.

"We went biking just in Golden Gate Park," said Zach Willis.

His mother says they have been interacting with neighbors in a social bubble, but plan to adhere to the new restrictions, hoping to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"We've made the decision that we're going to do whatever it takes. As hard as it is, we're just going to do it," said Willis.

Some of the small businesses say they hope cities and counties will consider waiving fees, and hope the federal government provides more financial aid to businesses, to help them survive into the new year.