What to expect at SFO during the coronavirus pandemic

San Francisco International Airport seems a lot different than it used to be. It’s quiet. On a normal day before COVID-19, the airport would serve 80,000 to 90,000 travelers. Now, it’s serving 8,000 to 9,000 a day. 

There are no crowds at the curb. No lines. Ticket counters are empty. 

But one business owner who has stayed open during the pandemic says he’s starting to see business come back. Jose Placencia, who owns Potrero Grill and other eateries at the airport said that they’re starting to see a rebound in business, and thinks that he’ll have more customers by mid-summer.

Placencia said that when the pandemic first began, mostly airport employees would patronize his restaurants. Now, he’s back to serving mostly travelers.

So, for those traveling to or from SFO, what can you expect?

The board of arrivals and departures at SFO. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“The first thing people should expect is the masking requirement,” Placencia said.

Doug Yakel, SFO’s Public Information Officer, said that the airport is implementing infrastructure. There are ots to show people where to stand in line to ensure distancing and safety.

Ticket booths, retail stores and information counters will all contain a plastic shield to separate the employee from the customer. New signs will also direct passengers to keep an appropriate distance from one another and airport employees.

Going through security will look a little different, too. The airport will conduct health screenings, and security screenings will have reduced physical contact. 

If you forget a mask or need hand sanitizer, both items will be available at the airport.

"The goal here is to make people comfortable with air travel once again because we realize it's going to take some time for people to come back,” Yakel said.