Residents hopeful as region enters green phase of Pennsylvania's reopening plan

People are hopeful as our area moves into the least restrictive phase of Pennsylvania's three-tiered reopening plan.

Counties in the green phase will enjoy the return of indoor entertainment and recreation businesses, such as movie theaters, casinos, and shopping malls. Likewise, restaurants and bars can reopen for indoor dining with a 50 percent capacity cap.

Salons, barbershops, gyms, spas other personal care services will be allowed to reopen under the green phase. All health and wellness facilities must operate at 50 percent capacity, and health officials are recommending visits be made by appointment.

Outdoor gatherings size will be limited to 250 people under the green phase, which represents a noticeable leap from the yellow phase outdoor limit of up to 25 people. 

The tables and chairs are still stacked up at The Grog Grill in Bryn Mawr but come Friday they'll be set up, six feet apart for customers to eat and drink and be merry inside the restaurant for the first time in months. The neighborhood cafe is taking every precaution to make sure customers and staff stay safe while dining inside and outside along the sidewalk.

"If we do have to change things up on the fly or a week from now or two weeks from now, we will do so," Stewart Hoffman, general manager of The Groll Grill, said.

As Montgomery and the remaining Pennsylvania counties prepare to go green in just hours, the CDC reported as many as 25 million Americans may have contracted COVID-19 without knowing it or only experiencing minimal symptoms. that's 10 times the number of confirmed cases.

"I'm concerned because a lot of young people are asymptomatic and they're spreading it to people who die from it," Tonia Elmore said

Gordon Wilder is optimistic that people here will heed the warnings as businesses begin to reopen.

"I hope everybody shows respect for other people and concern about keeping their distance," he said.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia will enter a modified version of the green phase. Restrictions will remain in place on casinos, movie theaters, conventions, and gatherings. The city will assess when these activities can resume going forward. Officials estimate a July 3 official move to green.



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