Help us make the City’s website work better for Oaklanders. We’re redesigning how Oaklanders access important city services. Complete this 5-10 minute exercise to test how well the new navigation works.

Updated Alameda County Health Orders Take Effect Today

Outdoor pools and lower-risk personal services, like hair and nail salons, allowed to reopen outdoors

Oakland, CA – On Friday, August 21, the Alameda County Public Health Official issued updated Shelter-in-Place Orders to reopen outdoor swimming pools and outdoor hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, waxing services, skin care and non-medical massages. These Orders exclude services that may require a client to remove their face covering, as well as eyebrow threading and waxing and eyelash treatments. Tattoos, piercings and electrolysis are not allowed to operate indoors or outdoors in alignment with the State of California’s Health Officer Orders issued on July 13. The updated County orders took effect at 8:00 a.m. today, and will continue to be in effect until rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.

Additionally, wineries in Alameda County can now offer outdoor tastings by appointment without needing to provide food. In alignment with the State’s Orders, this change does not apply to bars, breweries, pubs or brewpubs.

Guidance for operation of outdoor personal services, outdoor pools, and other industries and businesses that may reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here: All businesses must complete a Site-Specific Protection Plan and protocols and procedures to protect customers and employees from COVID-19 must be in place when businesses reopen.

With respect to re-opening City-operated outdoor pools, the City of Oakland is reviewing the Health Order requirements and has begun to resume essential training and American Red Cross certification programs for staff in anticipation of re-opening Lions Pool at Dimond Park starting in mid-September. More specific guidance and plans regarding re-opening for a second City-operated pool will be forthcoming.

To assist businesses allowed to reopen with outdoor services, the City of Oakland has waived all fees and streamlined permitting for business’ use of public rights-of-way, including sidewalks, parking lanes and roadway encroachments, allowing outdoor hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, waxing services, skin care and non-medical massages, under the Flex Streets program. The goal is to spur equitable economic recovery by making it easier for allowed businesses to use portions of the sidewalk, parking lanes and streets to provide personal services, serve food and sell goods. The Department of Transportation (OakDOT) issues permits for the use of the public right-of-way, while the Planning & Building Department issues permits private outdoor areas.

Flex Streets allows businesses to expand allowed business activities outdoors in five ways:

  • Use the Sidewalks or Parking Lanes
  • Use Traffic Lanes
  • Use Private Parking Lots or Other Private Outdoor Areas
  • Vend from Food Trucks, Trailers or Pushcarts
  • Use City-owned Outdoor Property

See step-by-step instructions for each of these five uses at:

Since Flex Streets launched in June:

  • 228 businesses have applied for use of Sidewalk or Parking Lanes.
  • There are 15 active applications for Street Use - 6 are for Parklets, 9 for Street closures. The Chinatown Chamber launched their weekly Friday afternoon street closure on August 7.
  • 8 applications for use of Private Parking Lots or Other Private Property have been received.
  • 5 businesses have applied for use of City-Owned Outdoor property.

The majority of the applications to-date have been from restaurants, but City staff anticipate many personal service businesses will apply in the coming days.

The important step is to apply for the permit before you start using the outdoor space, even for privately owned or leased outdoor spaces – including parking lots. Businesses are reminded to review the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for the Flex Streets Program for important details on sidewalk clearances and accessible table requirements.

Businesses seeking guidance on Alameda County guidelines for re-opening should email Businesses and activities authorized under previous orders may continue to operate.

Oakland’s Parks, Recreation & Youth Development also announced the launch of its Fall 2020 Town Enrichment Program, providing social opportunities, sports and fitness, arts and crafts, STEAM, and other fun for children ages 5 to 12 in a safe place. All programs follow current Alameda County Health Orders and CDC guidelines. Registration opens Monday, August 31. Scholarships available.

The Alameda County Health Officer continuously monitors the COVID-19 indicators to determine when it’s safe to lift more restrictions.

Other Re-opening Resources

Visit the City’s Planning Resources for Business Re-Opening website for the latest information on resources to support re-opening, including:

Business Re-opening & Recovery Survey

To help gauge COVID-19 impacts to Oakland business and what resources would help business owners as they plan for re-opening and recovery, the City has launched a brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey. The survey launched in English and additional languages will be added by Wednesday.

# # #

Tagged with:


Posted: August 28th, 2020 3:36 PM

Last Updated: August 28th, 2020 3:37 PM

Was this page helpful?

Report a problem with this page

Your feedback will help us improve our website. We cannot reply individually to all feedback.
Your feedback will help us improve our website. We cannot reply individually to all feedback.
Your feedback will help us improve our website. We cannot reply individually to all feedback.