Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions correspond to the Regional Stay Home Order that went into effect for Marin County on December 8, 2020. For specific details about the order, visit the Public Health Orders webpage.
GYMS & FITNESS CENTERS, OUTDOOR RECREATION, YOUTH SPORTS
Can a gym or fitness studio sell water to its customers attending classes?
No, water sales should not happen in fitness settings. The state’s order advises that outdoor recreational facilities may not sell food or beverage for the purpose of on-site consumption, and food and beverage consumption is not permitted in retail settings.
Are face masks required with physical activity, for example during outdoor tennis playing, outdoor fitness classes, and other outdoor group exercise?
Yes, all participants of an organized outdoor recreation or fitness class or activity should wear masks 100% of the time, due high respiration activity, possibility of close contact and other factors. Only solo outdoor activities (individual going on a walk alone) allows someone to remove their mask, but the person should carry a mask with them and be able to securely cover their nose and mouth with the mask before coming within 6 feet of a passerby.
What outdoor recreational facilities are allowed to be open?
The Regional Stay Home Order allows outdoor exercise. Therefore, the following outdoor recreational facilities are allowed to remain open where facility owners/operators (whether public or private) are able to uphold public health protocols for those facilities, including physical distancing and sanitation. Facility operators are encouraged to close any portion of their operations where these guidelines are unable to be enforced.
- Parks, including picnic tables and public restrooms
- Sports fields
- Basketball courts
- Golf courses
- Skate parks
- Outdoor pools
- Dog parks
- Tennis courts - NOTE: doubles tennis is limited to a doubles team being from the same household
Please keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list. Check with your local facility’s operator to see if they are open. Unfortunately, playgrounds and overnight camping facilities must remain closed.
Are outdoor fitness classes permitted?
Yes, outdoor gyms and fitness classes -- including yoga, dance, and martial arts -- meet the definition of an outdoor recreational facility for the purpose of facilitating personal health through physically distanced outdoor exercise and may continue operations. Those facilities should continue to conduct operations and classes in accordance with public health protocols, such as physical distancing, sanitation, etc.
Can my fitness studio or recreational facility continue to operate indoors if I open all of the windows and doors for ventilation?
Indoor operations, even with ventilation options, are not allowed at this time. If classes can be relocated to an outdoor space that allows physical distancing, those classes may continue.
Is there a capacity limit for outdoor fitness classes?
There no capacity defined by the state. However, a minimum of six feet of physical distance between students applies in the outdoor environment, and outdoor fitness class operators are strongly encouraged to limit capacity based on the size of the outdoor space being utilized for the class.
Youth sports activities permit stable groups of up to 14 children/youth to engage in sports activities (e.g., practice, drills, etc.) where physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.
What sports are allowed, and how do school-based sports factor into the rules?
The Regional Stay Home Order permits outdoor recreational facilities, including gyms and fitness studios, to continue to operate outdoors. All indoor operations for gyms and fitness facilities, including any indoor team training or conditioning, must close.
The State does not provide an exhaustive list of activities that the public can participate in, but the Stay Home Order limits group activities to the same household. In addition, the State’s guidance on youth sports prevents any group activities like games or scrimmages due to the close-contact nature of those activities. However, training and conditioning activities where physical distancing can be maintained are allowed to proceed. Youth athletic training activities that are held outdoors and allow for physical distancing may continue. These activities must focus only on training and conditioning.
How does the Regional Stay Home Order impact schools and childcare, including preschools, at-home schooling, and nannies?
The Order does not modify existing guidance for schools or childcare, including preschools, at-home schooling, and nannies. At-home school pods can continue to operate as long as the pod or cohort operates within the guidelines set forth by the California Department of Public Health.
Why are hair salons required to close while retail remains open at limited capacity?
The State of California has decided to close all hair salon services, both indoor and outdoor. The greatest difference between hair salon services and retail is the time spent with clients near clients’ faces. Hair salon services can last anywhere from 30 minutes up to several hours and requires hair care professionals to be within arm’s length (less than 6 feet) of their client for long periods of time. In a retail setting, a customer is only in close contact with employees for brief moments – to answer a question or help with check-out – therefore the exposure risk is much lower.
Are massage services allowed to continue?
Most businesses classified under the State of California’s “personal services” category must close. However, medically prescribed massage (meaning massage treatment was referred by physician, chiropractor or physical therapist) may continue.
HOUSES OF FAITH / CULTURAL CEREMONIES / FUNERALS
Are faith services and cultural ceremonies/activities permitted?
The Regional Stay Home Order allows houses of faith and cultural ceremonies to continue in outdoor settings only, where physical distancing and 100% masking can be enforced.
Can businesses with extremely limited person-to-person contact continue to operate?
While the state does not provide an exhaustive list, the following low-contact businesses can continue operations:
- Car washes
- Dog grooming
- Dog walking – NOTE: dog walkers or other dog walking business personnel must follow prescribed operational guidelines
- Dog sitting, where a curbside option is available for pet pick-up and drop-off
- Landscaping services
- Residential house cleaning services – NOTE: Residents should not be present while housekeeping services are provided. To the extent there is interaction between residents and housekeeping personnel, it should occur outdoors under social distancing protocols.
The following businesses are considered critical infrastructure and are allowed to continue operations:
- Auto repair
- HVAC services
- Plumbing services
- Janitorial services
- Handypersons and general contractors
- Critical manufacturing of primary metals, machinery, electrical equipment, appliance and components, and transportation equipment
Businesses that are not listed above are encouraged to review the State's expanded essential workforce definition to see if they qualify to operate under the Regional Stay Home Order.
MISC. BUSINESS QUESTIONS
Are private music lessons allowed to continue outdoors?
No, not unless it’s possible to maintain physical distancing between teacher and student. Often, music lessons involve the teacher demonstrating at close rage for periods of more than 15 minutes.
Can food banks continue to utilize volunteers for food distribution?
The State’s definition of essential workforce includes “Government, private, and non-governmental organizations’ workers essential for food assistance programs (including school lunch programs) and government payments.” Food bank related food distributions should remain outdoors and all operations related to food bank efforts should make every effort to ensure physical distancing protocols are upheld and all personnel wear masks throughout the duration of the volunteer effort.
INDIVIDUAL, PERSONAL BEHAVIORS
Are face coverings required 100% of the time at outdoor recreation facilities, gyms, fitness studios, places of worship, and protests?
Currently, two public health orders require the use of masks or face coverings in Marin County: (1) Marin County Public Health order of April 22, and (2) a Statewide mask order of November 16. Those orders mandate that face coverings / masks be worn at all times when outside of the home with very few exceptions. This includes when frequenting a business, both indoor and outdoor.
Is Marin under a Curfew?
Technically, yes. In addition to the Stay Home Order, Marin County moved into Purple status on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which mandates the curfew. Therefore, residents should make every effort to stay home except to complete essential tasks.
Are social bubbles still allowed to gather, if all participants remain outdoors, stay at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, and do not eat or drink?
No. Under the Stay Home Order, all gatherings with members of other households are prohibited – indoor and outdoor – except as expressly permitted in the CDPH Regional Stay Home Order. The Stay Home Order supersedes Marin County's Risk Reduction order (through January 4), which means gatherings previously allowed under the three-household and social bubble guidance are prohibited while the Stay Home Order is active. The previous guidance regarding social bubbles has been superseded by the State’s guidance for gatherings.
Can two or more people from different households go for a walk together, if all participants are masked and remain six feet apart at all times?
No. Under the Stay Home Order, all gatherings with members of other households are prohibited – indoor and outdoor – except as expressly permitted in the CDPH Regional Stay Home Order.