Outdoor dining allowed in Pennsylvania yellow phase counties starting June 5; professional sports to resume

Outdoor dining will be allowed in Pennsylvania yellow counties starting June 5, while counties moved into the phase green will be allowed to provide indoor and outdoor service with precautions, Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday. In addition, professional sports can resume without fans. 

All 67 counties in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, are anticipated to move into the yellow phase of the state's reopening plan by June 5.


“We know not only that we succeeded in slowing case growth, but that our actions, our collective decisions to stay at home and avoid social contact – we know that saved lives,” Gov. Wolf said Friday. “My stay-at-home order did exactly what it was intended to do: It saved lives and it bought us valuable time."

Eight counties are moving to yellow a week earlier, on May 29: Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Schuylkill.

Wolf announced Friday the first batch of counties moving to “green,” the least restrictive phase of his reopening plan: Bradford, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren. All of them are lightly populated counties across a northern swath of the state.

The restaurants offering outdoor dining in the yellow phase must strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits. The following guidelines must be in place: 

  • Indoor areas, including bar areas, of restaurants and retail food service businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic. Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
  • Customers being served must be seated at a table.

Prohibitions are also included. The following are not permitted:

  • Self-service food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, condiments, and drink stations.
  • Condiments on tables; these must be dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer.
  • Reusable menus.
  • Refilling food and beverage containers or allowing implements brought in by customers.

Professional sports can resume in Pennsylvania where the governor’s stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus is no longer in force, but without spectators.

Those teams and competitors will be allowed to practice or play in counties where Wolf’s yellow or green designation applies in his stoplight-colored three-phase reopening plan.

To resume, a team or a league must develop a coronavirus safety plan that has been approved by Wolf’s state Department of Health and it must include testing or screening and monitoring of all “on-venue” players and personnel, the administration said.

Wolf is allowing overnight camps and organized youth sports to begin or resume in areas where the green phase is in effect, and is asking that federal guidance be followed to prevent transmission of the virus. Those guidelines do not explicitly bar spectators.

You can find the full order, here.

RELATED: All Pennsylvania counties anticipated to advance to yellow phase by June 5, Wolf says

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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