The mayor of San Francisco on Friday ordered new lockdowns and business restrictions across the Bay Area in the face of the Covid-19 surge, as political leaders nationwide ramp up pressure on Americans to stay home until vaccines can be distributed.
The new measures announced by Mayor London Breed, a first-term Democrat, apply across five Bay Area counties and are among the harshest of any major US city, closing all personal services, outdoor dining and most public gatherings.
“What we are seeing in our city, our region, our state and our country is a virus that is taking over,” Breed, 46, said in announcing the new clamp down.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, said on Thursday he would impose similar stay-at-home orders statewide, to take effect region-by-region as intensive care beds reach capacity.
Breed said she was unwilling to wait for Newsom’s mandate to take effect in the Bay Area, adding, “If you’re not working to stay ahead of this virus you’re falling far, far behind and very quickly.”
Starting at 10 pm this Sunday, San Francisco will close all outdoor dining, outdoor playgrounds, zoos and aquariums along with other measures, according to a statement on the mayor’s website.
“Low contact retail such as pet grooming, electronics or shoe repair services, may only operate in a curbside drop-off context,” the statement read. “All other retail, including grocery stores must reduce capacity to 20%.”
Both Newsom and Breed have been criticized after dining on separate nights in November at the same posh Napa County restaurant, the French Laundry, despite repeatedly admonishing Californians to avoid such outings.