COVID-19 restrictions loosened

Vaccinated individuals may gather in groups, walk outdoors without masks


Alina Kushner, Senior Reporter

Junior Cristina Jackson waits in line inside of Pete’s Coffee on Wednesday, May 5. As San Francisco moved into the Yellow Tier, businesses, restaurants and bars have begun opening and allowing people to dine indoors at 50% capacity. (Alina Kushner)

The California Department of Public Health issued an update on COVID-19 safety protocols and announced that the City and County of San Francisco moved into the least restrictive tier, Yellow, on May 4 loosening restrictions on businesses and public activities. 

With over 72% of San Francisco residents having received at least the first dose of the vaccine, the county has fewer positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19

“I feel happy that I am part of the solution and I feel safer now that I am vaccinated,” junior Shana Ong said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing my extended family again and feeling safer about the situation.” 

San Francisco will allow indoor bars and restaurants to open indoor dining with up to 50% capacity, and will loosen restrictions on public gatherings such as festivals and sporting events, according to the Office of the Mayor

“I just think that things are improving massively and California is at a stage where they can reopen with this stuff,” freshman Sarah Rasic said. “They’re being wise enough not to completely get rid of all COVID regulations.” 

Vaccinated individuals may gather indoors or outdoors without needing to wear masks or social distance themselves, unless it is specifically requested by the organizers of an event, and they may also not wear a mask when working out outdoors or going on a socially-distanced walk.

“It’s so interesting that passing a person without a mask used to be such a normal thing, but now it’s exciting just to be able to do that again,” Ong said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing my extended family again and feeling safer about the situation.” 

Certain crowded outdoor events such as live performances or parades will still require fully vaccinated people to wear face coverings. Indoor public spaces and public transportation will continue to require masks regularly. 

“It makes sense to have vaccinated people not have to wear masks in public,” Rasic said. “I like that they still have the idea to have us wear masks in large spaces because that is where COVID spreads the most.”

San Francisco currently has about 26 new COVID-19 cases a day, which is the lowest rate since June 2020, and the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is below 20, according to the Office of the Mayor. 

“I’m really looking forward to eating at restaurants again and just feeling safer about getting groceries or going out in public,” Ong said. “I think that getting vaccinated was a big step in the right direction for me personally.”