Berkeley’s shelter-in-place order remains in effect, even as some statewide rules for retail businesses are relaxed.

Starting May 8, some parts of California began moving into Stage 2 of the statewide resilience roadmap, which allows for the gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces, including curbside pickup for non-essential retail.

When announcing these changes, state officials stressed that stricter restrictions are still needed in many parts of California, including the Bay Area, and that readiness to reopen must be assessed on a regional basis. While we have made significant progress towards flattening our curve, we still have work to do to ensure we will be able to contain COVID-19 growth as rules in our community are eased.

The regional shelter-in-place orders in the city of Berkeley and six Bay Area counties have not changed. When local and state rules on shelter-in-place differ, the stricter of the two applies. The following rules still apply to businesses in Berkeley:

  • Curbside pickup is only allowed for essential businesses and outdoor businesses, as defined in the health order.
  • Non-essential businesses, including florists, may make deliveries of existing inventory but may not restock inventory.
  • Businesses are not permitted to serve anyone not wearing a face covering, unless they meet specific exemptions defined in the order.

Face covering requirements

The City’s mandatory face-covering health order requires that all customers and workers wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while inside or in line to enter a business.

Businesses are also required to decline service to anyone not wearing a face covering and to post signs at entrances notifying customers of face-covering requirements. We’ve posted sample signs that can be downloaded and used for this purpose on our materials and guidance for business webpage.

These measures protect employees and customers from getting infected with COVID-19, which has no medical treatment or vaccine.

Widespread compliance with face-covering mandates will be a critical piece in allowing us to move forward with further easing of restrictions. Face coverings have a powerful impact because they reduce spread by unknowing carriers. Part of the reason COVID-19 spreads so easily is because many people with COVID-19 experience mild or no symptoms, but they can still spread the disease to others. Wearing a face covering helps prevent them from infecting others by reducing the germs they expel into the air.

Data will shape changes to local rules

Regional health officers will use local data to guide decisions on further easing of shelter-in-place restrictions. Specifically, they’re tracking five indicators to measure progress in containing COVID-19 and ensuring we have the infrastructure in place to protect the community as we begin to reopen:

  • Total number of cases and hospitalized patients is flat or decreasing
  • Sufficient hospital capacity to meet the needs of our residents
  • Sufficient viral detections tests are being conducted
  • Sufficient case investigation, contact tracing, and isolation/quarantine capacity
  • 30-day supply of personal protective equipment for all health care workers
  • These indicators are designed to provide measurable goals that will spur action on the part of the community at large, and complement the high-level metrics being tracked by the State of California.

Visit for more information on COVID-19, recommendations from Berkeley Public Health, and changes to city services. Questions can be sent to

Editor’s Note: The city has been sharing public health news and recommendations about COVID-19. Berkeleyside is reprinting some of them. This post has been edited slightly for publication.