Even as cable cars return to San Francisco, Bay Area reinstates face mask orders
Cable cars made their triumphant return to San Francisco after a 16-month absence.
The news comes even as San Francisco and seven other Bay Area health officials issued health orders requiring individuals to wear face coverings indoors in public settings, regardless of vaccination status, starting Aug. 3.
“COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in protecting people against severe illness and hospitalizations, and the vaccine continues to be our best way to protect ourselves, our families and our communities,” Dr. Naveena Bobba, San Francisco acting health officer, said in a press statement. “Indoor masking is a temporary measure that will help us deal with the Delta variant, which is causing a sharp increase in cases, and we know increases in hospitalizations and deaths will follow. When we all wear face coverings indoors, we are protecting our fellow residents and helping our healthcare workers.”
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Businesses are also subject to the new order and are expected to adhere to the mask requirement.
The setback in the battle against COVID-19 comes even as the city's famous cable cars resumed operations on Monday following a 16-month closure due to the pandemic. Face masks are required to ride the cable cars, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced on Aug. 2.
"Because this unique transportation system requires a high level of skill and operational maintenance, we will be operating a limited, free schedule on all three cable car lines during the month of August. Hours of operations will be 7 a.m. until approximately 10:30 p.m., seven days a week," the release read. "We appreciate your patience as service could be irregular as we roll out the soft-launch of the system."
Yes, that means cable car rides are free in the month of August.
The agency also said face masks will be required at all times, including while waiting for, boarding and riding all San Francisco Municipal Railway vehicles, also known as Muni, the city's public transit system.
Related: Los Angeles will once again require everyone to wear masks indoors