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New shelter-in-place orders ease restrictions on construction, real estate

But restrictions on open houses and limitations on in-person viewings remain.

A face mask covering the face of a bronze statue of a man.
A face mask is placed over the face of the statue of singer Tony Bennett outside the Fairmont.
Photo by AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

On Wednesday, health officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara announced that the extended shelter-in-place order, which will extend through May 31, will relax restrictions on construction, some outdoor businesses, and a handful of outdoor recreational facilities.

“Under the new orders, all construction projects will be allowed to resume as long as the project complies with safety protocols included with the order,” the counties said in a joint statement.

All real estate transactions will also be able to move forward, “but with continued restrictions on open houses and limitations on in-person viewings.”

Businesses that operate primarily outdoors, like plant nurseries, car washes, and flea markets, may also reopen under the new orders. And shred-heavy hangouts such as skate parks will open again.

However, public spaces that are deemed “high-touch” space that involve shared equipment or physical contact, like playgrounds, pools, and basketball and tennis courts, will remain closed.

“I know this is hard for everyone, but we have to keep our focus on protecting public health every step of the way,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “Our focus now must be on continuing to strengthen our system and track progress as we plan for the future steps can take if we continue to see improvements.”

The easing of restrictions will go into effect Monday.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom was expected to announce the closing of all California beaches after people went to an Orange County beach over the warm weekend.

“After the well-publicized media coverage of over-crowded beaches this past weekend, in violation of Governor Newsom’s shelter in-place order, the governor will be announcing [today] that all beaches and all state parks in California will be closed, effective Friday May 1st,” according to an Orange County police chiefs’ memo states obtained by NBC News.

Instead, Newsom only ordered beaches in Orange County closed.