Philadelphia health commissioner says city will not expand indoor dining capacities Sept. 21

Philadelphia will not be joining the rest of Pennsylvania in allowing restaurants to increase their indoor capacities to 50% this month, officials announced Thursday.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says the city spent a few days deciding whether or not to expand their restaurant capacities after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced the statewide expansion earlier this week.

Instead, Farley says the city will target October for potential expansion, should the number of daily coronavirus cases continue to decline.

"We've reviewed this proposal and we are not going to be making the change here in Philadelphia on Sept. 21," Dr. Farley said Thursday. "However, if the case counts continue to decline and there are no problems elsewhere with the 50% limit, we will consider making that change here sometime in October.

Philadelphia just resumed indoor dining at 25% capacity, for the first time in months, on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the state, Restaurants may increase indoor occupancy from 25% to 50% of capacity starting Sept. 21, more than two months after the Wolf administration, citing rising infection rates in some virus hot spots, imposed a new round of restrictions on the state’s beleaguered hospitality industry.

Establishments that want to increase capacity must certify to the state that they are complying with all public health guidelines. Those restaurants will then appear in a searchable state database called “Open & Certified Pennsylvania," the administration said.


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