Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Use City of Berkeley guidance to protect customers and employees

Berkeley, California (Monday, April 20, 2020) - Essential businesses must require face coverings for employees and customers, post certain signs, and adopt social distancing protocols to abide by Health Officer orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

These actions mandated by the City of Berkeley Health Officer increase safety for employees and customers. The City's order closely mirrors those of nearby counties as well as the rest of Alameda County.

Face Covering requirements

The mask order issued Friday by Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez requires customers and employees of essential businesses to cover their nose and mouth with cloth so that infected people without symptoms don't unintentionally spread COVID-19.

While everyone should follow the mandate immediately, enforcement will not begin until 8am Wednesday, April 22nd.

These requirements add further specificity to the existing shelter-in-place order - a critical non-pharmaceutical tool in the fight against a virus that has neither a vaccine nor medical antidote.

For employees

Staff at essential businesses must cover their face most of the time while at work, including:

  • when interacting with the public
  • in any space visited by the public
  • anywhere food is prepared
  • in common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, or parking garages
  • in any room where other people are present

The order includes exemptions for cases where a worker wearing a face covering would create a safety hazard according to established health and safety guidelines, or if an employee has been advised by a medical professional not to wear a face covering for personal health reasons.

Employees are not required to wear face coverings when they are alone in a space not typically used by other people, such as a personal office, but they must have a face covering with them and put it on when others enter or are nearby.

For customers

Everyone, including customers, contractors, and vendors, is required to wear a face covering while inside or in line.

Businesses must to take all reasonable steps to enforce this requirement, including:

  • posting signage stating face coverings are mandatory
  • prohibiting anyone not wearing a mask from entering
  • not serving members of the public who are not wearing face coverings
  • seeking to remove anyone not wearing a face covering

A sample sign is available for download on the City's website.

Social Distancing Protocols

Essential businesses must also adopt a social distancing protocol that details on-site measures the business has enacted to keep customers and employees safe.

The Health Officer's April 17 stay home order requires businesses to post two items at or near entrances in a location easily viewable by the public and employees.

  1. A sign instructing all employees and customers to:

    • Avoid entering the facility if they have a cough or fever
    • Maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another
    • Sneeze and cough into a tissue, or one's elbow when a tissue isn't available
    • Not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact

    We've created a sign that can be used for this purpose for you to download and print.

  2. A copy of the business's social distancing protocol, which explains the steps the business is taking to:

    • limit the number of people who can enter at one time
    • ensure people inside can easily maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another at all times
    • indicating where to stand in six-foot increments in areas where lines may form
    • providing hand sanitizer, soap and water, or effective disinfectant in high-use areas
    • disinfecting payment portals or providing contactless payment options
    • regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces

    Download and complete a fillable social distancing protocol on the City's website. Businesses should implement as many of the specific steps listed in this document as possible.

    Check the box next to each measure that has been adopted and fill in additional details where applicable. Print out the completed form, post it at entrances, and provide copies to all employees.

Help with compliance

Office of Economic Development staff are available to answer questions, provide clarification on requirements, and assist businesses implementing these mandates. For help, call (510) 981-7530 or email oedmailbox@cityofberkeley.info.

For additional recommendations on steps to keep customers and employees safe, we have prepared guidance outlining best practices by industry:


For questions about businesses compliance or to report those not complying with mask or social distancing mandates, email oedmailbox@cityofberkeley.info or call (510) 981-7530.

If you're reporting a complaint, include the business address and a short description of the activity you're concerned about in your message.


These rules help create a healthier business in the time of a pandemic by preventing infection among employees and customers.

If the City finds that business is occurring in violation of the Health Officer's Order, a warning letter will be sent instructing the business to comply with the order. If violations continue, anyone working at or owning the business is subject to criminal penalties of up to $1,000 per day, 90 days in jail or both. Customers must abide by social distancing and face covering orders.

Additional Resources

Find additional resources on the City's website, including posters and handouts on COVID-19 safety and information on federal, state, and local resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19 including City of Berkeley relief funding on the City's website.


Keep up with City of Berkeley news via our News page, email or .

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