Mayor London Breed has ordered all restaurants in San Francisco to close their dining rooms, effective Saturday, November 14th. The Tuesday announcement comes six weeks after restaurants in the city were allowed to reopen indoors at 25% capacity.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everyone act responsibly to reduce the spread of the virus. Every San Franciscan needs to do their part so that we can start moving in the right direction again,” Mayor London Breed said in the press release. “I know this is not the news our residents and businesses wanted to hear, but as I’ve said all along, we’re making decisions based on the data we’re seeing on the ground. Right now, our public health officials are telling us we need to take these steps to get the virus under control and save lives – so that’s what we’re doing.”
Since October 2nd, the city’s coronavirus cases have increased by 250 percent. After hitting a record low, the city’s positivity rate has also increased to 1.28 percent, and continues to climb.
According to the press release, Mayor Breed is also allocating $4 million to support these small businesses that are directly impacted, including $2.5 million to waive taxes and fees, and $500,000 through the Shared Spaces Equity Grants to help business set up outdoors.
The order will be undeniably hard on restaurants, who are struggling to keep their doors open on takeout and outdoor dining alone, especially as the weather gets colder. The restaurant lobbying group, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, also voiced concerns in an email to the press: “We are very disappointed San Francisco has announced closing indoor dining effective Saturday morning, November 14th. Although our foremost concern remains with the health and well-being of our community, we do anticipate immediate negative effects; including more restaurant closures, both short-term and permanent, significant job losses, and numerous employees losing health insurance coverage.”
There’s currently no set date for indoor dining to resume. In the meantime, you can still support your favorite restaurants by ordering takeout or eating outside. You can also take a minute to fill out this automatic email builder, which asks your reps to pass a $120 billion Restaurants Relief fund.