SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco was one of the very first cities in the United States to shut down in March, and six months later, it’s beginning to reopen.
What You Need To Know
- San Francisco salons and gyms have been given the go-ahead to operate indoors and hotels are starting to welcome back tourists
- The hotel occupancy during September is usually at 90 percent, but with the pandemic, 25 percent is only expected
- San Francisco will have the opportunity to reopen other industries in the coming weeks
- Indoor museums can submit their health and safety plans to the city now, and if approved, they can reopen as soon as September 21
Salons and gyms have been given the greenlight to operate indoors, and hotels are starting to welcome tourists back as well. However, several modifications are in place for those who would like to visit.
Michael Pace, the general manager at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, said tourists can expect some changes during these unprecedented times.
“Definitely happy to reopen; however, it’s not the same. Definitely much quieter,” Pace said.
While the doors are finally open for all guests who want to stay in San Francisco, Pace mentions many precautions have been put in place to protect everyone staying at his hotel.
“Right now, it’s about safety first. Safety for our guests, safety for our employees, and that’s our number one priority,” Pace explained.
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel has hand sanitizing stations in the lobby, and shields separating employees from customers. Likewise, everyone is required to wear a mask, and socially distance from each other.
Pace has been working at this hotel for two years, and said occupancy during September is usually at 90 percent, but with the pandemic, Pace said they’ll be lucky to reach 25 percent.
“We’re looking at a pretty quiet slow start in the next few months, but we have to start somewhere,” Pace said.
Since there’s been fewer guests staying at the hotel, only a handful of staff have been able to come back to work.
“Conventions are all canceled through next year. There are no groups coming in. There are no events, and unfortunately, international travel is non-existent,” Pace noted.
However, everyone who has returned is required to go through training to learn new safety protocols. Employees must wipe down the counters after each guest has checked in, and only one party is allowed in an elevator at a time. Dining has also moved fully outdoors.
“Really doing all the things that we need to, that we should be doing, to reassure the employees that it’s safe to go to work and the guests knowing that they can go to the Mark Hopkins Hotel and say ‘hey, these guys have been doing this for four months – working with the city – this is a safe place,’” Pace said.
The 100-year-old hotel has only been open to essential workers since the city’s shut down, but now that everyone is welcome, Pace hopes each guest can find a sense of normalcy while staying safe.
San Francisco will have the opportunity to reopen other industries in the coming weeks. Indoor museums can submit their health and safety plans to the city now, and if approved, they can reopen as soon as September 21.