Mayor London Breed, health officer detail San Francisco reopening plan, latest face covering requirement

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed and the city's health officer provided insight Friday on the city's new reopening guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joined by San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón, the mayor thanked San Franciscans for helping keep the city safe during the pandemic.

A big takeaway from the plan to reopen San Francisco is the new requirement to wear a face mask when in 30 feet of others.

Aragón gave some insight Friday on the importance of wearing a face covering and how the city came to the decision to tighten the rule.

He said other countries that have been successful in containing coronavirus outbreaks have universal face coverings guidelines.

The health officer went on to say face coverings allow families to get together and for more movement in the city.

He also said if 80 percent of San Franciscans wear masks or face coverings, the city can prevent an outbreak.

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Starting June 1, in what the city is calling Phase 2A of reopening, childcare facilities, botanical gardens, outdoor museums will join the businesses that are already allowed to operate.

In Phase 2B starting June 15, restaurants will be able to open for outdoor dining and businesses will be able to resume in-store shopping, if current COVID-19 trends hold. Sporting events and entertainment venues with no spectators, summer camps, private household services (nanny services, housekeeping, etc.), religious gatherings, outdoor exercise classes, and non-emergency medical appointments will also be allowed to resume with modifications.

Phase 2C is tentatively slated for July 13. That includes the reopening of indoor restaurant dining, hair salons, barbershops, and real estate open houses by appointment.

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Phase 3 is planned for mid-August, but with no specific date yet. Phase 3 will include the reopening of schools, bars, nail salons, gyms, tattoo parlors, massage parlors, playgrounds, swimming pools and indoor museums.

The fourth and final phase has no set timeline. It includes live sports and performances with audiences, concert venues, nightclubs, festivals and hotels for tourism.

At the same time Mayor Breed announced the timeline for reopening, she also revealed the city's stay-at-home order would be extended indefinitely. It was originally set to expire on June 1.

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Breed also said the city was dramatically tightening its face mask requirements. Now, San Franciscans will be required to wear a face covering anytime they are outside their residence and within 30 feet of other people.

"This 30-foot rule applies whether people are on the sidewalk, in a park, on a path or trail, or in any other outdoor area, and whether they are walking, running, biking, otherwise exercising, standing, or engaged in transportation such as using a motorcycle, skateboard, moped, or scooter," reads the health order.

"The 30 feet (10 yard) distance is used here to give people adequate time to put on a Face Covering before the distance closes and the people are within six feet of each other, which puts them at greater risk for transmission of the virus," the order explains.

Businesses have the right to refuse service to those not wearing face coverings, but Breed asked citizens not to take enforcement into their own hands.

"If you are not the police, please don't act like the police," she reminded the public. "The last thing we want to see are people who are confronting other people and creating what could escalate to a violent situation. Just let us do our job. Do your part, because as long as you're doing your part, your part is having an impact on everything that we see happening in the city."

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