San Francisco Pauses Reopening of Businesses to Prevent Spread of Covid-19

Ritu Jha-


San Francisco Mayer London Breed announced Friday that the city of San Francisco has temporarily paused the reopening of businesses in an attempt to prevent a further increase of Covid-19 cases.

The pause is due to the recent increase in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations in San Francisco as well as in the rest of California and across the United States.

According to the announcement on Friday, San Francisco will continue its strategy of a thoughtful and deliberate reopening, consistent with emerging scientific data, information, and evidence, and will move forward in the safest way possible, Xinhua News Agency reported.

“We just reopened for dine-in. It’s going to be tough,“ said Chef Ranjan Dey, owner of New Delhi Restaurant, an Immigrant and mixed family-owned Indian restaurant and legacy business as the oldest Indian restaurant in San Francisco, established in 1988.

Dey said that restaurants can allow indoor seating of 25% capacity. His restaurant originally planned to be at 50% capacity by now, but due to cold weather and the possible rise in Covid-19 cases, the increase in dine-in seating is on pause.

He said many restaurants have closed down due to the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, Dey said that at least 80 to 120 guests would come to his restaurant each day and now, after seven months of opening the dining room, only 2 to 6 people come.

“We are slowly stopping to breath and need help to get back up again, had Trump passed the second PPP in time there would be breathing room,” Dey told indica News.

“We need our city leaders to help the small businesses downtown.” He also commented on the growing concern about homelessness in the city. “We are losing the charm of this beautiful city of San Francisco…because we are facing a homeless problem.”

The city should take this time to pause and assess the data rather than to keep reopening and risk needing to roll-back reopening at a future date, the announcement said.

“We need the city to safely open up its hotels, shops, and offices so that all the small family businesses can survive. I am okay with allowing 25% [capacity] and pausing temporarily [before expanding to] 50% in a few weeks because 25% or 50% does not make much difference.” Dey said.

The majority of activities and businesses that were scheduled to reopen or expand their capacity on Tuesday will be paused. This includes opening indoor pools, bowling alleys, and locker rooms at fitness centers, and expanding capacity at indoor dining establishments, places of worship, and museums, among other businesses and activities that are allowed only if a county reaches at least the orange tier under California’s blueprint.

“Throughout our response to COVID-19, San Francisco has demonstrated our willingness to make hard choices and take reopening carefully and deliberately,” said Breed.

“We have to all keep doing our part and follow public health guidance to keep ourselves, our families, and our entire city safe. This is going to be especially important with Halloween this weekend and the election on Tuesday. These aren’t normal times and we can’t act like they are,” Mayor added.