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Posted on: February 23, 2021

COVID Update on Reopening: San Mateo County Moves to Red Tier 2 on Wednesday, Feb. 24th

COVID Red Tier 2

As San Mateo County’s COVID-19 positivity rate and other metrics improve, the state of California today announced the wider reopening of businesses and certain activities in the county. The county as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday (a minute after midnight) moves from the most-restrictive purple Tier 1 to red Tier 2 in the state’s four-tier, color-coded reopening plan. Learn more about the State's reopening plan online

The move allows changes for numerous types of businesses: restaurants can resume indoor dining with modifications; gyms can open indoors with modifications; and retail and shopping centers can increase capacity. 

Moving to 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 (max 25% capacity) 

• Places of worship (max 25% capacity) 

• Movie theaters indoors (max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer) 

• Gyms and fitness centers indoors (max 10% capacity) 

• Family entertainment centers (kart racing, mini-golf, batting cages) outdoors only with modifications 

Amusement parks, bars without meal service, bowling alleys, indoor playgrounds, live theater, saunas and steam rooms, nightclubs and festivals are not permitted. Businesses can find guidelines that apply to their industry on the State’s COVID-19 website

Small private gatherings are allowed outdoors and indoors with modifications: 

• Masks and physical distancing required 

• No more than three separate households attend (including the host’s) 

• Gatherings should be 2 hours or less 

• Those with symptoms must not attend 

• Those at high risk of severe illness strongly encouraged not to attend 

• Singing, shouting, chanting, cheering, or exercising strongly discouraged outdoors and not permitted indoors 

See guidance for gatherings online

Travel Recommendations: 

The State’s Travel Advisory remains in effect. 

Californians should remain local (not traveling more than 120 miles from their home or other place of residence) and avoid non-essential travel. Travelers from other states or countries entering into California for tourism and recreation are strongly discouraged. 

Some travel is considered essential and necessary. “Essential travel” is travel associated with the operation, maintenance, or usage of critical infrastructure or otherwise required or expressly authorized by law (including other applicable state and local public health directives), including: 

• Critical infrastructure (like the water supply or power grid) 

• Economic services (like banking) 

• Supply chains (like food distribution) 

• Health care and immediate medical care 

• Safety and security 

• Work and study 

Note on school operations: Decisions on public school operations are made by local school boards in consultation with the San Mateo County Office of Education. Individuals interested in the potential impact on schools should contact local school districts. Learn more online

Note on youth and adult recreational sports: Individuals interested in the status of youth and adult recreational sports should check with local governing organizations, local parks and recreation departments or both. The California Department of Public Health has issued new guidance on outdoor and indoor sports that takes effect on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Learn more online

Learn more about COVID-19 testing options in San Mateo County: https://www.smcgov.org/testing 

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in San Mateo County: https://www.smchealth.org/covidvaccine