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October 20, 2020

How to Experience San Francisco Safely: What's Open

COVID Status: Yellow (Minimal)

As of Oct. 20, San Francisco is officially labeled as yellow by the State of California in its COVID-19 recovery blueprint and has continued the gradual process of reopening individual businesses and attractions. However, these changes are contingent upon the city's continued progress fighting COVID-19. When going out, residents will be required to

  • Wear face coverings, whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet apart from other people.
  • Frequently wash their hands and thoroughly clean of high-touch surfaces.

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.


Here is what is currently open in San Francisco.

  • Restaurants and bars for outdoor service, curbside pickup, delivery and indoor service at 50% capacity (as of Nov. 3)
  • Family entertainment such as outdoor children's carousels, miniature trains, and Ferris wheels, like the Observation Wheel in Golden Gate Park
  • Hotels for visitors, including hotel fitness centers at 25% capacity (as of Oct. 27)
  • Indoor retail and malls with approval at 50% capacity
  • Tour buses and boats
  • Drive-in movies (outdoors)
  • Botanical gardens
  • Outdoor historical sites
  • Museums, aquariums, and zoos at 50% capacity (as of Nov. 3)
  • Movie theaters without food or beverage at 50% capacity (as of Nov. 3)
  • Dog parks
  • Parks, beaches, and skate parks
  • Golf with limits
  • Tennis (singles-only outside a household) with no shared equipment


San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Transportation

As San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area slowly reopen, the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are 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.



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 take-out service. As of Nov. 3, indoor dining at 50% capacity is allowed in San Francisco. The following guidelines are in place to ensure that people can dine inside safely:

  • Masks must be worn when not eating, away from your table or when waitstaff approach.
  • A distance of six feet must be maintained at all times.
  • Sharing of food, drinks or utensils is not allowed.
  • Maximum two hour dining limit at each table.


Major Attractions

As San Francisco continues to be downgraded in color by the State of California, several of the city's attractions have been able to open and welcome back visitors with safety protocols in place. Here is a list of major attractions that are welcoming visitors back, many of them at 50% capacity as of Nov. 3.

  • Alcatraz - 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.
  • Conservatory of Flowers - Timed tickets are required for entry.
  • 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 - 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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