San Francisco's orange-tier status allows indoor dining with limits

San Francisco is the first Bay Area county to move into the state's orange tier, but the city has decided to have a slower, more cautious rollout and not lift all of the restrictions allowed by the state under the orange tier.

On Tuesday, Mayor London Breed announced the city has kept coronavirus transmission rates low at 2%, so the city is allowing the indoor dining rooms to reopen at 25% capacity up to 100 people. Masks and health checks at the door will be required.

San Francisco restaurants that have closed their dining rooms since March are now hoping and preparing to welcome guests back in.

"We're really excited for it. This is something we've been training and practicing for for the last 3 months. We have a 150-page manual that goes over all our COVID safety guidelines," said Ryan Simmons, director of operations at Fog Harbor Fish House at Pier 39, "We've removed a whole bunch of our tables to allow big spacing. We're able to open up all of our windows out to the bay."

Hand-sanitizing stations are among the new safety measures at the restaurant as well as plexiglass partitions and enhanced safety training for staff.

"We try to separate people who bring food versus people who clear food. We've really reinforcing our hand-washing, obviously masks, daily temperature checks," said Simmons.

"Since the numbers are going down, i'd love to start going out more, seeing stuff open up again. That would be incredible," said Jess Eanes, a USF student who was walking along Pier 39.

Under the new guidelines, places of worship will also be able to reopen at 25% capacity, with no singing or chanting. Fitness centers in hotels can reopen at 10% capacity. Indoor malls can reopen at 50% capacity.

Some family entertainment centers will also be allowed to reopen.

"We have hand sanitizing stations spread out throughout the whole course and we will have wipes available," said Alicia Franzolini, the general manager at Subpar Miniature Golf in Ghirardelli Square. Franzolini says they'll have strict limits on groups and sanitize all clubs and equipment. They've also changed out filters and plan to open windows for more ventilation.

Some people worry though, that more reopening will lead to more coronavirus transmission if people don't take precautions.

"When restaurants start opening up I think it's going to cause a spike in numbers just people being indoors," said Cynthia Syriani of Brentwood.

"Winter is coming and I think it's going to get bad," said Julie Monroe, an ICU nurse temporarily working in San Francisco, "If it does start to become more crowded then we'll avoid that too."

Bowling alleys cannot reopen yet. Movie theaters could reopen next Wednesday with restrictions.

County health officials say people need to wear masks and keep social dsitance so there aren't any setbacks.

Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana