January 15, 2021

San Francisco orders public not to leave home ‘except for essential needs’

San Francisco and surrounding counties totaling 6.7 million people will prohibit anyone from leaving their homes “except for essential needs” beginning at midnight Monday.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at a news conference that the drastic steps are meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“The new public health order that we’re announcing will require San Franciscans to remain at home with exceptions only for essential outings,” she said. “These measures will be disruptive to daily life, but there is no need to panic.”

It’s the largest city to impose an in-home curfew or other stay-home order in the U.S. so far. Similar orders will apply in several San Francisco Bay Area counties until April 7, she said, although she added that the date could change depending on the advice of health officials.

Pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, gas stations and essential government services will remain open, as will restaurants, but only for takeout and delivery orders, Breed said. Bars and gyms will close. “Your garbage will be picked up,” she said.

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