Pennsylvania extends mitigation guidelines on indoor dining for patrons, staff

(Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

As Pennsylvania adjusts to life in the green phase of the state's reopening plan, health officials have extended guidelines for indoor dining at bars and restaurants. 

Along with eased restrictions on most indoor venues, the green phase allows bars and restaurants to open dining rooms at 50 percent capacity. Of course, face coverings and maintaining social distance while indoors are among the requirements in place to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

“Restaurants and bars offer families and friends a place to gather and socialize while enjoying food and drink, and we want to make sure that business owners and staff have the proper precautions in place to protect workers and patrons," Governor Tom Wolf said.

MORE: Philadelphia pauses some reopening plans including indoor dining, gyms after rise in cases

As such, the state is mandating that masks must be worn while entering, exiting or otherwise traveling through an indoor restaurant. Tables must also be separated six feet and physical barriers must be placed between booths. If tables are not moveable, patrons must be seated six feet apart.

For employees, Wolf's administration is requiring that all work stations must be staggered by six feet and cleaned frequently. Shared spaces, such as break rooms and officers, should remain uncrowded to ensure safe distance. An emphasis has also been placed on sanitizing frequently touched surfaces throughout the work day.


All restaurants, according to Wolf, must provide physical guides, such as tape on the ground and signage on walls, to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart while waiting in line.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)

The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) will be conducting compliance checks at licensed facilities to ensure that the requirements of the guidelines are observed.

Failure to comply risks citation by the BLCE, a fine of up to $1,000, and possible suspension and/or revocation of the liquor license.

While Philadelphia awaits in a modified green stage for the next several weeks, Wolf applauded the city's decision to not hastily rush to allow patrons to dine indoors. Wolf advised that any business that cannot comply with all of the mitigation efforts should not reopen indoor dining.  


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