San Mateo County Reopening
California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities.
Based on the local “risk” level, San Mateo County is now in Tier 2 (Red) of the state’s four-tiered, color-coded reopening system. The most restrictive rules apply to Tier 1 (Purple) and the less restrictive to Tier 4 (Yellow).
The Tier 2 designation allows additional businesses and organizations to open and certain activities to take place with restrictions. All businesses and individuals must continue to follow health and safety guidelines.
San Mateo County’s health order requiring face coverings, social distancing, and limited gatherings remains in effect.
Tier 2 (Red) allows:
- Restaurants indoors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
- All retail indoors (max 50% capacity)
- Shopping centers, swap meets indoors (max 50% capacity, closed common areas, reduced capacity food courts)
- Personal care services – hair and nail salons, barbershops (open with modifications)
- Museums, zoos and aquariums (indoor max 25% capacity)
- Places of worship (indoor max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
- Movie theaters in doors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
- Gyms and fitness centers indoors (max 10% capacity)
Visit the state’s website to find the status of permitted business operations and activities in San Mateo County.
Under the tier system, bars, breweries and distilleries where no meals are served remain closed.
What County-Specific Restrictions Are Still in Effect?
Face Coverings: With specified exceptions (including but not limited to certain individuals, specified activities or locations and Social Bubbles), individuals must continue to wear Face Coverings as described in the Order. In general, even when not required by this Order, individuals (except for children aged two years or less) are strongly encouraged to wear Face Coverings when in public.
Social Distancing Requirements: With specified exceptions (including, but not limited to, Social Bubbles), all individuals must adhere to Social Distancing requirements as set forth in the Order.
Social Distancing Protocols for Businesses: All businesses permitted to continue operations are required to post a Social Distancing Protocol for each of their facilities in the County frequented by personnel or members of the public, as specified in the Order. Social Distancing Protocol: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog.
Health and Safety Plans for Businesses: The Order requires all businesses to develop, implement and share detailed written Health & Safety Plans that demonstrate how they will comply with the detailed State guidance for that business.
Other Orders: Individuals and businesses must comply with all other Orders by the Health Officer (for example, quarantine, isolation, laboratory and congregate care). These Orders can be found here: Health Officer Orders and Statements.
State Industry-Specific Guidance (Earlier sectors)
State Industry-Specific Guidance (Later sectors)
For Individuals: What Can I Do?
Follow State guidance: You may engage in all activities allowed by the State. Continue to monitor State guidance for prohibited activities: State Guidance
Interactions within Social Bubbles: You may interact with other individuals outside of your household in a “Social Bubble” which is defined as a group of twelve or fewer people from different households or living units who have agreed amongst themselves to only socialize with members of their group. A Social Bubble must be maintained for a minimum of three weeks. You can only be a member of one Social Bubble at a time. While face coverings and social distancing are always recommended, members of a Social Bubble are relieved of these requirements when with members of their Social Bubble in outdoor settings in the same manner as if they belonged to a single household or living unit.
Interactions outside of Social Bubbles: While gatherings of any size outside of a single household or living unit remain discouraged because they carry significant risk of exposure to COVID-19, you are allowed to participate in public and private gatherings of up to 50 people. To the extent the State allows gatherings of more than 50 people (for example, protests or gatherings associated with places of worship), such activities do not violate the County’s Order. For clarity, a mass gathering is a specific, organized meeting or event bringing together particular individuals from multiple households at the same time for a group experience, often with a start and end time, like a party or conference. Accordingly, businesses that are capable of following the State guidance (as well as social distancing requirements) and merely happen to have more than 50 customers at a time (such as movie theaters, card rooms, restaurants) would not be violating the Order, as that would not constitute a gathering under the Order. Participants of gatherings of any size must adhere to Social Distancing and Face Covering Requirements unless it is a small outdoor gathering of individuals belonging to the same Social Bubble.
Monitor your health: Under CDC guidelines, individuals who are experiencing fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms should stay home except to get medical care. This can prevent transmission of COVID-19 to others. If you’re not sure if this applies to you, check your symptoms with the CDC’s Symptom Screener.
Be safe: Crowded settings, especially those indoors, increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Comply with the County’s Face Covering Order, stay 6 feet away from others, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as frequently as necessary. Higher-risk individuals (over 65 or with serious medical conditions) should consider continuing to stay home until Stage 4. Minimize errands by getting groceries delivered or asking for help from friends or family.
Access community resources:People who are experiencing homelessness or unsafe living conditions where they cannot afford safe shelter are encouraged to try to stay with family or friends, identify housing options, or access emergency resources such as shelter. They can also call 211 or one of the Core Service Agencies located throughout San Mateo County: San Mateo County Core Service Agencies
Where can I get more information?
The County has additional information for the General Public, Healthcare Providers, regarding Children, Older Adults, Face Coverings and businesses regulated by Environmental Health, which can be found here: https://www.smchealth.org/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions and here: https://www.smcgov.org/covid19-face-covering