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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COVID-19: Socializing

Staying home as much as possible is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, as restrictions begin to ease, some socializing outside of your household or living unit is permitted under the Health Officer’s Order. If you do meet with others in a social bubble, you can reduce your risk for getting or spreading COVID-19 by following these guidelines.

Risks associated with socializing

Every time you interact with others outside of your household or living unit, you increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Just because an activity is permitted does not mean it’s encouraged, or recommended for everyone. However, we know that it’s important for your mental health to maintain social connections with others.

Each individual or family must take personal responsibility for assessing their unique circumstances. Asking these questions will help you determine your level of risk.

  • Is COVID-19 spreading in Berkeley?

    Read the latest COVID-19 data in Berkeley.

  • Will socializing put you in close contact with others?

    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Read about ways to protect yourself.

  • Are you, the people you live with, or the people you want to socialize with at risk for severe illness?

    Older adults and those with underlying conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

  • Do the people in your social group practice everyday preventative actions?

    Monitoring yourself for symptoms, not touching your face with unwashed hands, washing your hands often, social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, wearing cloth face coverings, and staying home if you are sick are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Will socializing include shared items, equipment, or tools?

    Limit sharing of items. Any items that are shared should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.

  • Will you need to take public transportation to socialize?

    Public transit can put you in close contact with others. When using public transportation, follow the CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself.

  • Does your activity require travel to another community?

    Stay current on the CDC's recommendations regarding traveling if you will be leaving Berkeley. Other areas may have different health orders and regulations in place.

  • Do you know the symptoms of COVID-19? Do you know what to do if you get sick?

    If you think you're sick with COVID-19, call before visiting a health care provider. Do not go directly to a hospital. Learn more about symptoms and when to call a doctor here.

Consider the risk to yourself, the people you live with, and the people you will see. Use caution and good sense, while practicing social distancing, frequently washing your hands, and wearing a face covering when around others – even while outdoors.

About social bubbles

Small groups of people are now permitted to socialize in person with small groups of people outside of immediate households. Here's what you need to know before socializing.

  • A “social bubble” is a stable group of up to 12 people (including children and adults) from mixed households who are permitted to socialize together outdoors.
  • “Stable” means the membership of the social bubble doesn’t change for a three-week period. Once you’ve joined a social bubble, you can’t switch and start another with a different group of people until the three-week period is over. After three weeks, you can start a new social bubble if you wish, or keep the same one going.
  • Social bubbles are permitted to have small outdoor gatherings in public or private settings. Indoor activities are not permitted at this time.
  • Everyone over the age of 2 should wear a face covering and stay six feet apart when gathering outdoors with other members of their social bubble.

Exceptions for social bubble rules


  • A child in shared custody can be in a household bubble for each parent or guardian.
  • In addition to their household bubble(s), children may be part of no more than one additional stable group over at least three weeks that primarily includes other children. For example, a childcare setting or in a youth extracurricular activity, such as a sports team, club, or summer camp.


  • Coworkers do not count towards your social bubble’s 12-person limit, as long as you are only interacting in the workplace.
  • If you would like to socialize with coworkers outside of working hours, you can invite them form a social bubble with you.

Getting started with your social bubble

The key to a successful social bubble is good, ongoing communication.

  • Set ground rules – your idea of “common sense” may be different from someone else’s.
  • Everyone in the group should review the risks associated with socializing
  • Check in frequently to ensure that everyone is still healthy before continuing to socialize

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 while socializing

Follow these simple steps to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 while you socialize:

  • Practicing social distancing
  • Frequently washing your hands
  • Wearing a face covering when around others – even while outdoors
  • Clean and disinfect any shared surfaces – such as sports equipment or a picnic table

What to do if someone in your social bubble gets sick

If anyone in the social bubble is concerned about being sick, they should avoid socialization.

If they are concerned about COVID-19 sickness, they should follow City and CDC recommendations to contact their doctor, stay home and avoid spreading illness in their own household.

If anyone in the social bubble has COVID-19, everyone in the group should quarantine themselves and contact their health care providers.

Additional resources

Last updated June 29, 2020

Questions? Contact covid19@cityofberkeley.info.

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