3 Bay Area counties join red tier, loosen reopening restrictions

ByAlix Martichoux, Lyanne Melendez, and Kris Reyes KGO logo
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
3 more Bay Area counties join red reopening tier
San Francisco, Napa and Santa Clara Counties are officially going into the red tier, officials announced Tuesday, bringing most Bay Area counties into second-strictest reopening tier.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco, Napa and Santa Clara Counties are officially going into the red tier, officials announced Tuesday, bringing most Bay Area counties into second-strictest reopening tier. (Marin and San Mateo joined last week.)

Entering the red tier means indoor dining at restaurants is allowed to resume at 25% capacity.

RELATED: Map shows which CA counties can, can't reopen under reopening tiers

It also allows for indoor gym use at 10% capacity, retail stores to bump capacity up to 50%, movie theaters and indoor museums at 25%.

INTERACTIVE: Here's the reopening status of every Bay Area county

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The red tier also allows for loosened restrictions on personal care services. For example, in San Francisco services that require someone to take their mask off will be allowed.

"For us ladies, we can get facials now," said Mayor London Breed in a press conference Tuesday.

RELATED: Bay Area COVID-19 tracker

"It's like a complete change from a couple of months ago when we were talking about going in reverse and closing up again, now there is a worry that we will reopen too fast," says ABC7 News contributor Phil Matier.

With loosened restrictions on restaurants, San Francisco is also loosening the rules on who you can dine out with. If you're doing outdoor dining, groups can be up to six people from three households. Indoor dining is more limited: four people maximum, all from the same household.

"The more I can do the better. I feel like everyone else, am getting a bit tired of this but I know there's a reason for it," said bartender Jack Yaghubian.

Businesses are also reminding everyone that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. When ordering at a table, put your mask on.

"Pause what you're doing, shut up and put your mask on," expressed Laurie Thomas of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

Also, as she toured Pier 39 Tuesday, Mayor Breed also expressed her disappointment that SF Unified and the labor unions have not reached an agreement to reopen for in-person learning.

"We have to do better. The grown ups need to get their act together and make sure that we do what is in the best interest of the kids of this city," said Breed.

Napa County announced Tuesday afternoon it would be allowing for all the red tier-level reopenings to proceed, as well.

Santa Clara County, which has been especially conservative when it comes to be reopening, is going along with the state's timeline this time. They're allowing for all the reopenings listed above, as well as lifting the 10-day travel quarantine.

VIDEO: Santana Row businesses gear up for move into red tier

While San Jose's Santana Row managed to get by with its unique position for a great outdoor dining experience, businesses are ready to welcome customers back inside.

On Santana Row, many restaurants have been lucky to benefit from the foot traffic. Restaurants like Ozumo Sushi Bar and LB Steak, have been running a thriving outdoor space for months now.

But, adding the extra seats indoors when the county goes into the red tier will be a welcome bonus.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction, we have been very fortunate to be able to navigate the difficulties," said Brian Nguyen with Ozumo.

"Santana did a great job with giving us space but having people in the building is definitely going to be great, to give us the ambiance and that atmosphere that we provided here at LB steak," said Mark Mills with LB Steak, "We've been fielding phone calls all morning, so people are definitely excited about coming back to the building. We've done spacing and we're pretty much ready to go for indoor dining right away."

While the re-opening will be a bonus for some businesses, the reality is that for others the re-opening will be a case of too little, too late.

"The ones that were just getting going or that weren't running as strong of a business, they didn't make it, they're gone. And we may never see them back," said Christian D. Malesic, President and CEO at the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce.

"Businesses need this. And, you know, just a couple of weeks before spring, two weeks before spring, when everybody's getting ready to go back outdoors. This is perfect timing."

ABC7 News reporter J.R. Stone contributed to this story.

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