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San Francisco’s New Mask Law Calls Out Bar Patrons and Outdoor Diners

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San Francisco’s latest health order says that everyone in SF needs to remain masked “in all fluid situations” including while at outdoor “dining spaces and bars.”
Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco announced new, stricter laws for face covering use Friday, with an eye toward people drinking or dining outdoors

San Francisco residents have been legally required to cover their faces when they leave the house since April, and new rules that dropped at the beginning of July spelled out the city’s mask requirements for diners and drinkers, saying that they need to don coverings for their noses and mouths any time they’re not actively eating or drinking. Last Friday, the city tightened the mask laws up once again, with an order that specifically calls out outdoor drinkers and diners.

The order, which went into effect on Saturday, July 25, says that everyone over the age of 10 years old must wear a face covering “when approaching a distance of six feet from others” unless they have a written note from a doctor. The rule applies “in all fluid situations where distances between people change frequently and where social distancing cannot be strictly monitored,” such as “walking on a sidewalk or any other pedestrian right-of-way” and “while at parks, outdoor plazas, dining spaces and bars.”

The mask rules place even more pressure on restaurant workers who, as Hoodline reports, are already dealing with the added work of managing patrons who don’t take the laws as seriously as they should. For example, Macondray, a Polk Street bar that opened in January, has had to employ what’s essentially a mask bouncer after incidents like “a customer [who] drank too much, and wandered over to the next table to ask them to take shots.”

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