Philadelphia to relax restrictions on events and gatherings today

Today, Philadelphia will roll back some of its coronavirus restrictions on crowds and gatherings to align with state health official's recommendations, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

The eased restrictions will mean that indoor venues in Philadelphia with less than 2,000 seats can bump capacity to 10 percent. Venues with 2,000-10,000 seats can host 5 percent capacity. No more than 500 people are allowed at an indoor gathering, while outdoor venues are capped at 2,500 people. 

This does not mean Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers fans can head back inside the Wells Fargo Center just yet. Pennsylvania is currently restricting fans at indoor professional sports. However, under the forthcoming changes, the Philadelphia Phillies will be able to host fans for their home opener on April 1.

Farley announced a slight change to restaurants during his Friday afternoon press conference. Beginning Monday outdoor diners will be allowed to have up to 6 people from mixed households per table. The previous restriction was four people from the same home.

MORE: California, New York coronavirus variants: Researchers tracking spread of new strains

Movie theaters in Philadelphia can welcome groups no larger than four and can resume food and drink sales, Farley said. Meanwhile, retail store capacity will rise to 20 people per 1,000 square feet.

Senior Centers, which have been closed since March, will open on Monday. Farley said visitors must wear and N-95 mask or double mask with a paper and cloth mask.

"All of our changes are dependent upon consistent universal mask use," Dr. Farley said. "If people are not wearing masks, the changes we're talking about here are not safe."

Philadelphia on Friday announced over 200 new COVID-19 infections and one probable virus-related death. Farley suggested the city's falling case rate and rising vaccination numbers lead officials to ease some restrictions.

While the city has not yet released mitigation revisement news, the Wolf Administration has rolled back some of its previous mitigations. 

Among the revised mitigations, maximum limits for indoor events will allow for 15% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size and maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 20% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. 

The Wolf Administration also lifted the out-of-state travel restrictions, making it so those who travel out of state don't need to provide a negative COVID-19 test upon their return.

In a statement, the Wells Fargo said the following:

"If city of Philadelphia matches new state restrictions or raises their own, fans can return to Wells Fargo Center for Flyers and 76ers games within days. Wells Fargo Center, Flyers, 76ers are ready to welcome fans back once city officials match new state rules or otherwise increase allowable capacity. Returning fans back to the arena at limited capacity would put hundreds of part-time workers back on the job, approximately two thousand when arena is full. Wells Fargo Center has undergone a health & safety transformation, including an $11 million renovation of the HVAC system; Arena recently achieved the prestigious WELL Health-Safety Rating"



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