When the novel coronavirus first started its spread in the United States, 6 bay area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) led the charge to shelter in place. Now, after many months spent indoors, San Franciscans will be able to emerge and spend time in the city they love. Businesses with the capability to operate outdoors will be allowed to resume. Restaurants, even if they have outdoor space, must continue to operate solely via take-out and delivery. Safety is at the forefront of every business-owners mind and California is making sure everyone sticks to the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Getting Fresh Air
State Parks & Nature Preserves
After being cooped up for so long, a breath of fresh air is just what the locals need. State parks and nature preserves are open to the public with some new restrictions. The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department manages over 220 parks and playgrounds throughout the area. Though playgrounds, splash pads, and other areas with shared equipment remain closed, hiking trails and green spaces are open. Park staff and posted signage are available to remind locals to practice safe social distancing, stay 6 feet apart at all times, and wear masks. Visitors to the parks are also encouraged to “pack in and pack out” anything they bring into the parks with them.
Some parks will temporarily close when they reach capacity but will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Park facilities such as visitor centers and museums are closed until further notice. Families with high-risk individuals can still experience many of the things the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has to offer from the safety of their homes. The park’s site offers virtual tours with a similar interface to Google Maps, projects for kids, ways to observe nature in your own back yard, and park trivia. There is even a video of a teacher virtually releasing trout along with other good news from the park.
Outdoor Recreation in the Golden City
It still may be a while before all attractions can reopen in San Francisco, but some restrictions are being lifted on outdoor activities and businesses. Garden centers and nurseries are reopening just in time for spring. Locals with a green thumb can landscape their property with all their favorite local blooms. Garden centers are advising customers and staff to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
Bay area residents with a different definition for “going green” will be excited to see golf courses reopening as well. Linksman will notice some changes to their clubs and courses. Golf groups will be limited to 4 players and caddies will not be allowed. Social distancing practices are to be observed and face masks worn. Although the bay area counties are allowing golf courses to open, this move is not wholly supported by the state government. It is advisable to call your favorite golf courses in advance and inquire about their safety precautions and business hours.
Skate parks are reopening to the public after a health-conscious hiatus. Skate parks with shared equipment will remain closed, but open areas with ramps that provide ample room for social distancing are back in action. Athletic fields are adhering to similar rules. Fields and tracks are opening to the public but working at a limited capacity for health and safety purposes. Basketball and tennis courts are still closed since players have to share equipment.
Sunny Days Ahead for Businesses
Outdoor Flea Markets
Restrictions are lifting on businesses that can be conducted outdoors and that is good news for thrifters! Outdoor flea markets are allowed to resume business provided they follow strict guidelines for the safety of the vendors and their customers. Monthly staples like the TreasureFest flea market will once again be providing visitors with vintage clothing, antiques, collectibles, re-purposed furniture, and handmade crafts by local artisans. TreasureFest is having a 3-day online event to help local businesses. Visit their website during those days and peruse one-of-a-kind goods made my beloved local creatives. There will be a small transaction fee on items purchased and 100% will be donated to Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief charity in the U.S.
The seasonal flea favorite, Inner Sunset Flea Market is a family-friendly event for the whole community. Stalls are now required to be a safe distance apart. All visitors should wear face maks and remain 6 feet apart at all times. Vendors are also encouraged to use touchless point of sale systems and provide hand sanitizer.