SF business owners excited to reopen after losing thousands of dollars during shutdown

"We are thrilled. I can't even contain my excitement. I'm so happy."

ByJ.R. Stone and Kayla Galloway KGO logo
Friday, September 11, 2020
SF indoor salons, gyms, hotels can reopen Monday, mayor says
Beginning Monday, hair salons, barbershops, massage services, nail salons, gyms and fitness centers can resume operation indoors in San Francisco with limited capacity.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Businesses like hair salons, nail salons and gyms will be able to reopen indoors in San Francisco as soon as Monday under the latest reopening plan announced late Thursday night by Mayor London Breed.

Beginning Monday, hair salons, barbershops, massage services, nail salons, gyms and fitness centers can resume operation indoors with limited capacity.

"Thank you London Breed, we're so happy we're just ecstatic," said salon owner Jessica Sclamberg, praising Mayor Breed. "I'm over the moon. I could not be more excited we've been ready we've been waiting for this day. We are thrilled. I can't even contain my excitement. I'm so happy."

Under the new guidelines, hotels can also reopen in San Francisco, according to the city, and will also now get to welcome not just essential workers but everyone.

"At least having the opportunity to welcome tourists back in our hotels is something we're very excited about and we will do it in a very safe and cautious manor," says Kevin Carroll, who runs the Hotel Council of San Francisco.

But Manish Chadha, who owns the Presidio Parkway Inn, says allowing tourists in addition to essential workers is great, but his hotel and others are empty and that won't change until businesses reopen downtown and conventions come back. "Unless they are open I don't see any business here. Nothing is going to change," says Chadha.

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Family entertainment centers with activities like mini-golf, go-carts and batting cages can also reopen Monday, but limited capacity as well.

The mayor also said Thursday indoor museums and galleries may also be able to open as soon as Sept. 21, but will require safety plans beforehand.

The city resumed its reopening plan Sept. 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only businesses where both the customer and employee can wear a mask are allowed to open at this time.

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"I'm so glad we can move forward earlier than expected to reopen more businesses that have been closed since March. These businesses have been struggling, and starting Monday, they'll finally be able to serve customers again, with the necessary safety precautions and modifications in place," the mayor said in a statement.

Personal services like nail and hair salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, hotels and drive-in movie theaters are considered "low risk," according to the mayor's office.

While the mood going forward is a positive one. Most we talked with are skeptical about having to wait this long just to reopen. Junko Shimada owns Diamond Club Tattoo Studio. She was denied small business grants and dipped her into savings just to survive. "You know not intentional, but I think it was an issue of ignorance letting certain businesses open and not others," says tattoo artist Brian Wall.

"Given our local trend in COVID indicators, low-risk, limited capacity indoor activities may resume," said Dr. Colfax, San Francisco's health director.

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Each of those businesses can reopen Monday.

Indoor museums, zoos and in-classroom learning from kindergarten to sixth grade can resume Sept. 21.

In-person learning can resume on a rolling basis with "approved" health and safety plans, the mayor's office said.

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The mayor's reopening plan released Thursday also details the reopening of churches and classrooms for middle and high school students in San Francisco.

The city hopes for in-person learning to resume for middle and high school students in October and November, respectively, on a rolling basis and with approved health plans.

San Francisco's hopes for places of worship to reopen at the end of this month, but with only 25 percent capacity indoors, the mayor said.

Jessica Sclamberg says they've been preparing by fogging their salon and come Monday they will be ready. "The wait is over, now it's just getting everybody in. That's gonna be hard."

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San Francisco is now in the red group in California's four-tiered reopening plan.

Red signifies "substantial" rate of COVID-19 spread with roughly four to seven new cases per 100,000 residents per day, with a 5 to 8 percent positivity rate.

As of Thursday night, the city has 10,120 cases of COVID-19 and has reported 88 deaths linked to the virus.

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