Pa. restaurants can reopen Monday

HARRISBURG—The temporary restaurant lockdown imposed Dec. 12 by Gov. Tom Wolf will be lifted beginning Monday, as per his original deadline.

The three-week ban on indoor dining included the closure of casinos, gyms, theaters, concert venues and other entertainment facilities and limited the number of attendees at gatherings and events.

Wolf said the temporary restrictions were necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19—and were effective.

“Our mitigation efforts over the past several weeks have done what they were intended to do,” he said. “The time-limited measures will expire as planned.”

Beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, restaurants and bars can reopen indoor dining at 50% capacity (if self-certified), however the sale of alcohol must be cut off by 11 p.m. Restaurants who are not self-certified can reopen at 25% capacity.

Theaters, museums, theaters and other entertainment venues, as well as gyms and spas can reopen at 50% occupancy beginning Monday.

The limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings remain, based on the facility, with venues offering a capacity of up to 2,000 limited to 10% occupancy and facilities of more than 10,000 can have up to 500 in attendance.

Outdoor facilities seating 10,000 or more are limited to 5%, or a maximum of 2,500 attendees. Outdoor venues that seat up to 2,000 can have 15% occupancy.

The number of COVID-19 cases has dropped over the past three weeks, however new infections are still being reported, with nearly 9,000 new cases recorded by the Department of Health on Wednesday.

Wolf said nearly 6,000 people are being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals statewide and although some healthcare officials have raised concerns about staffing, he said he believes the state’s hospital capacity appears to be sufficient to handle the current wave of infections.