SAN FRANCISCO—On September 14, the San Francisco Department of Public Health issued a health and safety plan checklist that every indoor personal service provider business (e.g. barbershops, hair salons, gyms, dance studios, etc.) must follow and post on site. 

Indoor businesses that have remained shuttered for six months reopened on September 14, 2020. They were permitted to operate outdoors on September 1. Thirteen days later, gyms and personal care businesses began indoor operations following guidelines that were available.

Health and safety plan items include completing necessary layout adjustments to allow for social distancing, disinfecting and sanitation at the work site throughout the day, wearing gloves or other PPE, keeping doors and windows open to allow for the flow of fresh air, the requirement that all people on site where face coverings, and mandatory screenings for employees and customers. The SFDPH Health and Safety Plan can be accessed here:

According to the screening handouts, people who have answered “yes” to certain questions about their contact with anyone who was exposed to the virus or symptoms of illness, cannot enter the work site. Those admitting to having symptoms of illness are to follow the rules mandated by the Health Officer Isolation/Quarantine Directive. They are required to test for COVID and self-isolate. The screening handout for employees can be accessed here. The screening handout for customers can be accessed here.

Beauty Salon workers on Irving Street.

The Health Order requires that businesses post certain SFDPH signage for their customers to warn them of safety protocols to follow. Businesses are required to refuse service to anyone who does not comply. The signage can be accessed here.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, gyms were allowed to operate at 10% capacity and with closed locker rooms, saunas, and swimming pools. Philip Nguyen, Sales and Services Manager of the 24 Hour Fitness branch said that based on the square foot of the building there can only be a certain number of people working out at a time. “Every 24 Hour fitness got the square foot form and based the maximum capacity off of that,” Philip Nguyen said. 

At the 24 Hour fitness located on 45 Montgomery Street, as of September 18, the facility allowed 44 participants. 

Zeon Kitchine is the business owner of Geomantic Salon SF, a hair salon located on Divisadero Street in the Western Addition. He said that over the course of the nearly six months that his business was closed, he “expected” a revenue of $100,000. 

All his staff were unemployed during the pandemic up until September 14. Zeon Kitchine said he had to scrounge up whatever money he had and was living on loans: “There was the paycheck protection loan, the small business emergency loan, and my credit union offered a $5,000 loan with no interest.”

Kitchine said his business is currently earning half the revenue. “We’re reducing our schedules so we can accommodate the new protocols.”

A worker and a customer at Geomantic SF.

Describing work conditions he said, “All of our stations are six feet apart and we are only able to use one shampoo bottle at a time to maintain social distance.”

Sanitation equipment for indoor business operations.

On Friday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced plans for further reopening of indoor activity. According to a news release on, San Francisco will move forward with indoor dining at 25% capacity, up to 100 people, once the City and County of San Francisco fall under the classification of “orange” in the State tier system.