'We're finally back': San Francisco gyms, salons, personal services reopen for indoor operations

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco relaxed its health order a bit on Monday, allowing nail and hair salons, gyms, massage studios and tattoo parlors to welcome a limited number of customers back indoors.

At MX3 Fitness, Kevin Mcspadden was one of the first clients Monday morning to workout indoors. He hasn't been inside a gym since March.


"It feels good," he said in between bench presses.

The owner of MX3 Fitness is thrilled to be able to welcome people inside again. He had set up an outdoor area for clients while waiting for permission from the city to open indoors. The outdoor workout space was working just fine, until smoke blanketed the city.

"We can't ignore the air quality can we? It's been really tough. We have had so many outdoor cancellations for our outdoor gym in the past week. So it's nice to have that other option. But it is also nice to know, the rains are coming. And we are finally back indoors," said co-owner Dave Karraker.

San Francisco is only allowing a limited number of people inside the gyms and only for one on one personal training or individual workouts. Group fitness classes are still not allowed, which is keeping some major fitness chains closed.

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"Group fitness is still not allowed indoors so don't be expecting to go to your Barry's Boot Camp or any spin classes just yet. Right now the only thing allowed indoors is one on one personal training and then individual workouts. We expect that to change in the coming months as we do better in our COVID-19 response as a city but right now it is just those limited services at 10%," Karraker said.

He said this new set up is great for his business, but he is sympathetic to the larger work out facilities.

"It's really tough for the big box gyms right now because they have these huge leases that they're sitting on and at 10% that doesn't help them. But 10% for a small neighborhood gym, it really helps a lot, being able to do a little outdoors/a little indoors- can help pay the rent," Karraker said.

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San Francisco relaxed its health order a bit on Monday, allowing nail and hair salons, gyms, massage studios and tattoo parlors to welcome a limited number of customers back indoors.



His personal trainers were booked solid Monday, an indication that many San Franciscans are ready to be back.

"Everyone that I know in my community has been wanting to get back into the gym. It is one of the two things they talk about- going to restaurants and getting back to the gym. So I think it is good and it's important," Mcspadden said.

Some salon and gym owners, like Karraker, said they will also continue to offer outdoor service for clients who don't feel comfortable being indoors with others.

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Tracy Chavez owns Eye Candy SF. She was crossing Union Street with a sign in hand, thrilled to reopen her beauty salon.

"So happy to be back, so happy to be able to reopen. I'm really excited," she said. "I'm really looking forward to everyone coming back and I've missed everyone so much. It's been a trying year but we're getting through it."

Chavez had to move in with family because she couldn't afford to stay where she was living.

The salon is now set up to keep the recommended number of customers at a distance and Chavez is following the requirements by wearing a mask, a face shield and specialized clothing.

Tracy Stanwick is another salon owner who is more than happy to reopen.

"It's been stressful but we're all happy. It's a relief for our clients too," Stanwick said. Inside her salon, the first client of the day was already being served.

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"Months and months and months. I'm so happy to be here," the customer said.

All of them told us the city waited too long to reopen.

Danielle Rabkin, owner of Cross Fit Golden Gate, agrees.

"We were watching counties like San Diego and Los Angeles reopen but San Francisco which had much better metrics was staying closed and that was really tough to see.

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Gyms are only allowed to open at 10% capacity. Rabkin says that majority of her clients, young tech professionals, have moved away from the city.

"I don't know if I'll be able to recover from six months of closure but I'm going to fight like hell, I'm sure going to try," Rabkin said.

Hotels were also allowed to bring in tourists for the first time today. Still, some hotels decided to wait a few days knowing few people would be willing to visit San Francisco under these conditions.

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