Governor Tom Wolf announced today the easing of some of the COVID-19 pandemic-driven restrictions placed on bars/restaurants and other businesses as of April 4th. Wolf attributed the easing of restrictions due to the decline in COVID-19 cases and the climbing rate of vaccinations.
The bar/restaurant restrictions impacted are:
- Restaurants may resume bar service
- Alcohol service will be allowed without the purchase of food
- The curfew for removing alcoholic drinks from tables will be lifted
- Indoor dining capacity will be raised to 75 percent for those restaurants that are currently self-certified and those that undergo the self-certification process, which involves agreeing to strictly comply to all public health safety guidelines and orders, including the cleaning and mitigation protocols and other operational requirements contained in the Governor and Secretary of Health’s mitigation and enforcement orders issued on November 23, 2020, as amended. Those restaurants that do not self-certify may raise capacity to 50 percent. Outdoor dining, curbside pick-up and takeout are still encouraged.
Restrictions not eased in bars/restaurants include the requirement to wear a mask when not seated and 6′ of social distancing between tables.
Capacity for other businesses also will be increased including personal services facilities, gyms, and entertainment facilities (casinos, theatres, malls) to 75 percent occupancy.
The governor also announced revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 25% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size, and maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 50% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Maximum occupancy is permitted only if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.
“Pennsylvanians have stepped up and done their part of help curb the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our case counts continue to go down, hospitalizations are declining, and the percent positivity rate gets lower every week – all very positive signs. The number of people getting vaccinated increases daily and we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to allow our restaurants, bars and other service businesses to get back to more normal operations.”
The easing of these restrictions comes one year to the week of the first wave of restrictions going into place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania