Reopening San Mateo Businesses

Search for what businesses are allowed to be open at any given time on the State of California COVID-19 website.

Public health experts are closely monitoring COVID-19 data to determine what businesses can or cannot be open at a given time. 

Beginning Monday, Aug. 31, the State has revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on businesses and activities under its new framework for reducing COVID-19 called Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This new blueprint includes a color-coded tiered ranking system for counties based on case county and positivity rate. San Mateo County is currently in the purple tier, which notes there is a “widespread” risk locally. 

Businesses wishing to operate outdoors must follow the State’s industry guidance, and comply with City zoning restrictions. 

We've established a permitting process for limited use of City parks for outdoor gym or recreation activities. We have adjusted some local zoning regulations to allow outdoor services under limited circumstances.  

A statewide order on July 13 also closed the following:

  • Indoor dining at restaurants (outdoor dining is still allowed)
  • Wineries and tasting rooms (indoor)
  • Movie theaters (indoor)
  • Family entertainment centers (for example: bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades) (indoor)
  • Zoos and museums (indoor)
  • Cardrooms (indoor)
  • Bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations (except those offering dine-in meals outdoors, and alcohol can only be served in conjunction with food)

Shops offering tattoos, piercings and electrolysis may not be operated outdoors and must close. 

If you wish to report a businesses that is not complying with COVID regulations within the City of San Mateo, please visit or (650) 522-7011. 

The State is monitoring county data including how rates of infection, hospitalizations, hospital capacity, and deaths. You can review San Mateo County data on the Health System website. There is a dashboard with overall information, hospital data, lab testing data, case numbers by city, and more.

Statewide COVID-19 Hotline:

833-422-4255 (833-4CA-4ALL)

The statewide call center will be open 7 days a week:

Mon – Fri: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sat & Sun: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

County Face Covering and Social Distancing Requirements

As the county aligns with the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, face covering and social distancing requirements remain in place:

Face Covering Requirements

Businesses are required to have employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers wear a face covering in the workplace and when they are interacting with others. Face coverings are also required where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution. Please review the County’s Health Order for additional information. The County has developed Face Covering Signage that businesses can download, print and post.

The Health Order emphasizes the need for individuals to comply by with face covering requirements. In general, even when not required by this Order, individuals (except for children aged two years or less) are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when in public.  

Social Distancing Requirements

The County requires businesses to fill out a Social Distancing Protocol form and post a copy of the Social Distancing Protocol at each public entrance of the facility.

Businesses Allowed to Reopen and Industry-specific Guidance 

The requirements for businesses are outlined in the Health Order and appendix. Businesses must adhere to industry-specific guidelines from the state, which may be found below or at

Each business must create and implement a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 plan and post your completed health and safety plan so the public is aware that you have complied with State guidance. The State has created a checklist for some sectors, which can be used as a framework for the plan. If no checklist exists, a business must still create a plan. If you cannot find applicable guidance, your business might not be allowed to reopen yet. 

Reopening Requirements

As businesses reopen, everyone will need to create a safer, low-risk environment. Before reopening, all facilities must:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes how to screen themselves for symptoms and when to stay home.
  3. Set up individual control measures and screenings
  4. Put disinfection protocols in place
  5. Establish physical distancing guidelines

It’s important that employees with COVID-19 know they should stay home. Your sick leave policies will need to support that. See information on: