Coronavirus Impact: Indoor dining ban in San Francisco concerning to restaurant owners as rain approaches


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Indoor dinning lasted five and a half weeks in San Francisco. Starting at 11:59 p.m. Friday, indoor dinning was banned due to an increase of COVID-19 cases citywideSan Francisco’s Warfare Tavern’s General Manager and partner Tony Marcell enjoys the sounds of his restaurant bustling with 25% capacity for indoor dinning.

“This dining room seats about another 20 people total and there is about four tables removed from here,” described MarcellBut that joy only lasted a few weeks. Once the clock hit midnight, all indoor tables were emptied and indoor dining was prohibited again in San Francisco.

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“Speaking on behalf of all of us is very concerning and it’s at a place that is alarming time for us and we are just starting the winter,” said Marcell.

San Francisco remains in the yellow tier, but this week Mayor London Breed announced an increase of 250% of COVID-19 cases since early October leading to this decision.

“Sadly, beginning the end of the day Friday, we will need to eliminate indoor dining,” said Mayor Breed.

California’s health and human services secretary says most transmission in the state are coming from “high-risk situations where masks are not worn the entire time.”

“Everyone is like well why are indoor restaurants getting blamed? There is no caused contract tracing showing direct correlation from safety using low capacity 25% or under indoor dining with ventilation and masks. There are no studies that show that they are a 1-1 causation,” said Laurie Thomas with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.

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With more rain coming, restaurant owners say the city didn’t give them enough time to prepare for an exclusive outdoor dining option. Some don’t have a roof to cover their tables from the rain.

“Our plan this weekend is pray for no rain,” said Marcell.

According to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association restaurants are cutting staff hours to survive with the outdoor dining option.

Walnut Creek resident, Elyse Radd was one of the last customers at Wayfare Tavern to get in tonight before the ban.

“It’s what we have to do to get over this hurdle,” said Radd.

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