San Mateo County Reopens

Yesterday the county released an order effective today, aligning with the state’s guidelines for reopening. This resulted after the county applied for a variance and upon approval the “county can continue the gradual re-opening to match the maximum allowed by the State’s Resilience Roadmap. This Order is intended to fully harmonize the County with the State as to the activities and businesses allowed.”

Open Sectors in Counties with a Variance

 Businesses Permitted Now

  1. Dine-In Restaurants
  2. Hair Salons and Barbershops
  3. Casinos
  4. Movie Theaters and Entertainment Centers
  5. Wineries and Bars
  6. Zoos and Museums
  7. Gyms and Fitness Centers
  8. Hotels (for tourism and individual travel)
  9. Cardrooms and Racetracks
  10. Campgrounds and Outdoor Recreation
  11. Nail Salons
  12. Waxing Services
  13. Tattoo Parlors

Businesses Still Not Permitted

  1. Indoor playgrounds (bounce centers, ball pits, laser tag)
  2. Live Theater
  3. Saunas and Steam Rooms
  4. Nightclubs
  5. Concert Venues
  6. Festivals
  7. Theme Parks
  8. Higher Education (in person)


Notable Highlights from the Order

Shelter in Place Officially Rescinded

While the directive to “shelter in place” has been lifted, social distancing is still required along with wearing face coverings.


While gatherings are still discouraged because of the risk of COVID-19, at this time all public and private gatherings must not exceed 50 people. This does not apply to protest gatherings or places of worship with can exceed 50 people when in compliance with certain state guidelines. Participants of gatherings of any size must still observe social distancing and wear face coverings unless attending a small outdoor gathering comprised of people of the same “social bubble.”

Social Bubbles

Social bubbles are defined as a group of 12 or fewer persons (from different households) who agree to only socialize with members of that group. The bubble must be maintained for three weeks and you can only be a member of one social bubble at a time. Face coverings and social distancing requirements do not apply to social bubbles when gathering in outdoor settings.

Social Distancing Protocol

Businesses must still practice social distancing protocols as outlined by the state which include:

  1. Limiting the number of people who can enter into the facility at any one time to ensure that people in the facility can easily maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another at all times—for clarity this limitation does not require social distancing where it would make performing business functions impossible (e.g., while a barber is cutting hair);
  2. Requiring face coverings to be worn by all persons entering the facility, other than those exempted from face covering requirements (e.g. young children) or as necessarily required by the businesses operation (e.g., while eating);
  3. Where lines may form at a facility, marking six-foot increments at a minimum, establishing where individuals should stand to maintain adequate social distancing;
  4. Providing hand sanitizer, soap and water, or effective disinfectant at or near the entrance of the facility and in other appropriate areas for use by the public and personnel, and in locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with members of the public (e.g. cashiers);
  5. Providing for contactless payment systems or, if not feasible to do so, the providing for disinfecting all payment portals, pens, and styluses after each use;
  6. Regularly disinfecting other high-touch surfaces;
  7. Posting a sign at the entrance of the facility informing all personnel and customers that they should: avoid entering the facility if they have any COVID-19 symptoms; maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another; sneeze and cough into one’s elbow; not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact; and
  8. Any additional social distancing measures being implemented (see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance)

Health and Safety Plan

All businesses that are visited or used by the public must “prepare, post, implement, and distribute to their personnel a written health and safety plan that addresses how it will comply with all applicable Statewide guidance issued by the State of California. If it is a service business that operates at customer homes, it must instead of posting at the home, send an electronic version of the plan to the customer at least one day in advance of the service being provided. In addition, businesses must post any additional placards or other content as directed by San Mateo County Health which can be found here. Statewide guidance can be found here. If the State provides a “checklist”, the “checklist” may serve as the framework for the required plan.”