SAN FRANCISCO—Children in San Francisco will now be able to visit the over 180 public playgrounds in the city because on Wednesday, October 14, Mayor London Breed indicated they are officially open. 

The announcement comes after the State of California allowed playgrounds to operate again on September 28, and released some guidelines to do it safely. San Francisco is limiting the number of people depending on the size of the playground, and limiting the time of visits to 30 minutes when there are other people present.  Visitors must follow physical distancing rules, and everyone 2 years or older must wear a face covering. No one is allowed to eat or drink in the playgrounds. Also, only one adult should accompany a child and they must actively supervise them. Officials encouraged caregivers not to use their phones while taking care of their children on playgrounds. 

If a caregiver must take a break, children should stay by their side until they can resume,” said Mayor Breed in the announcement.

During the first two weekends, playgrounds will be supervised by Recreation and Park Department monitors who will ensure that health guidelines are being followed. Public health officials said that since the city was removed from the State watch list, opening environments for children had become a priority. During the announcement they advised communities to keep following safety guidelines to continue with reopening efforts in the City. Recreation officials also expressed they were excited for this announcement.

We are thrilled to welcome families back to their neighborhood playgrounds and all the fun, connection, and creativity they inspire,” said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. “For kids, play is serious business. It is essential to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. A trip to the playground relieves stress, reduces anxiety, and promotes healthy bodies and imaginations.”  

Besides the reopening, Breed announced that six renovated playgrounds would launch in the city as part of a project made in collaboration with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance. Breed also expressed she was excited for the official reopening of these spaces for children.

“We know kids and parents have been missing playgrounds since the end of March, and I’m excited that we’re now at a place where we can safely reopen them,” said Mayor Breed. “It’s important kids have a place to explore, have fun, and get some outdoor exercise. We hope this brings families and kids some joy during an otherwise challenging time.”

The Department of Public Health released the following tips to safely enjoy the playgrounds:

  • Go to the playground during days and times when there are fewer people.
  • Choose playgrounds within walking distance of your home instead of taking public transportation.
  • Choose smaller playgrounds with fewer people over larger playgrounds that can hold more people.
  • If your child is crying and cannot be consoled, remove them from the play structure or playground until they are calm, since loud crying can produce a large number of respiratory droplets.
  • If anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, do not visit a playground.