Safe Reopening

The state created a new system to determine when and how activities can reopen. Details for each county are in its Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Recent changes for San Diego County are below.

To operate under the new guidance, businesses and organizations will need to update their Safe Reopening Plan


Under the state guidance, the following can operate indoors with modifications starting Aug. 31. In some cases, guidance includes maximum capacity. They can continue outdoor operations.

  • Restaurants, dine-in. 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. They still need to close at 10 p.m.
  • Places of worship. 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower.
  • Movie theaters. 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower.
  • Museums. 25% capacity.
  • Gyms and fitness centers. 10% capacity.
  • Dance studios. 10% capacity.
  • Yoga studios. 10% capacity.
  • Zoos and aquariums. 25% capacity.
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Nail salons
  • Body waxing
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Piercing
  • Skin care and cosmetology



Reopening steps

All business or activities allowed to open have restrictions on how they operate. Before reopening, you need to take the following steps.

Step 1

Refer to the guidance for your specific business or activity. This is mostly from the state. Links to many are below.

Step 2

Following the guidance, complete the County's Safe Reopening Plan (Spanish | Somali). You need to post the plan at your entrance, and discuss it with employees. 

Restaurants have a separate plan and guidance to follow. See reopening for food businesses.  

Each business's plan may need to be updated and reposted when state guidance changes. The County will not require approval for this plan. 

Businesses with questions can email:

Step 3

Confirm on the list below that San Diego's public health officer has allowed the activity or business to open.


What's open and closed?


Open Now 

In addition to guidance for each activity, there may be additional restrictions depending on the County's current risk level tier. See status on the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Partial list of businesses and activities.  

  • Restaurants. Indoor dining allowed at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. Outdoor dining allowed. They need to close for on-site dining between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Drive-thru, takeout and delivery service can continue at all hours.
  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry
  • Hardware/home improvement stores
  • Airports and public transportation
  • Gas stations
  • Auto repair
  • Childcare. Updated state guidance effective June 12.




K-12 schools. Based on state metrics, K-12 schools can open for in-person classes starting Sept. 1. They need to follow state guidance and create a Safe Reopening Plan. Each school or district will decide whether to open. 

Colleges and universities


Outdoor recreation

You can go out for exercise if you can keep six feet away from people who are not members of your household. Avoid groups and crowded outdoor spaces. Wear a face covering when within six feet of others.

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  • Beaches

    The County has allowed beaches to open with certain limitations, but cities may have their own restrictions or closures. Check before visiting.

    Beach parking lots can now open and active sports by household members is allowed.

    You can sit and lie down with members of your household. You can walk or run on the beach. If you're within six feet of others not in your household, wear a face covering. You can swim, surf, paddleboard, kayak, snorkel. Activities like football or volleyball are not allowed. You can take dogs where beaches allow them.


  • Parks

    At parks, the County will allow:

    • Parking lots to open.
    • Park visitors to sit, lie down, picnic if they practice social distancing.
    • Use of basketball or tennis courts, if played by members of a household or others who can maintain social distance.

    Cities or park managers may have their own restrictions. Check before visiting. 

    Park managers need to create and post a Safe Reopening Plan for how they will provide for social distancing.

  • Playgrounds

    Outdoor playgrounds can open as of Sept. 30 if they follow state guidelines. Each city or jurisdiction will decide when it reopens its playgrounds. 

  • Camping

    Camping is allowed. Each occupied campsite can’t be occupied on either side. Playgrounds or other common amenities are still closed. Operators of individual campgrounds will decide when they reopen. Check before visiting.

  • Boating

    Recreational boating on the ocean, bays and lakes is allowed under state guidance for outdoor recreation and the local Safe Opening Protocol for Recreational Boating. Operators of boats at any of those locations may have more restrictive guidance.


  • Golf

    Golf course operators need to create and post a plan for how they will provide for social distancing.

    Golf courses now use the same Safe Reopening Plan as other businesses. They no longer need the separate golf course protocol. 

    Golf courses that follow the safety protocol can reopen. One-on-one instruction with social distancing is allowed. Golf carts can have only one person, unless other golfers are from the same household.

  • Recreational equipment rentals

    Businesses that rent recreational equipment, such as bicycles, surfboards, boats, kayaks and other watercraft can reopen if they prepare a Safe Reopening Plan. If any equipment can be used by multiple people, they have to be members of the same household. All equipment needs to be sanitized with a disinfectant effective against the coronavirus after each use.

  • Tennis

    You can play tennis with members of the same household or others you can stay more than six feet from. 


Open Outdoors Only



These activities are still closed. 

  • Bars, breweries and distilleries that do not serve food. Wineries that do not serve food and do not have an outdoor area need to close. 
  • Indoor playgrounds, such as ball pits and laser tag
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Live theater
  • Nightclubs
  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Live audience sports 



Reinstituting measures

Reopening is based on a variety of COVID-19 trends and the capacity of the healthcare system to cope with the virus's impact on the public. If necessary, restrictions could be brought back to protect people's health.

The County is tracking 13 specific "triggers" that could prompt modification of the health order. See a dashboard with current status of the measures and an explanation of the triggers