With a ban on indoor dining in Pennsylvania looming, restaurant owners brace for uncertainty

On the eve of sweeping new coronavirus restrictions that will ban indoor dining across Pennsylvania for at least three weeks, business owners are wary of what's to come. 

In Doylestown, Franco Federico is among the restaurant owners concerned for the future of his three eateries. Federico says his nights have been sleepless with worry. 

"People are petrified to walk in," Federico said. "They’re really scared so, of course, our business went down the drain."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday announced new restrictions that ban indoor dining through the new year. The order also decreases indoor gathering capacity to 10 people and outdoor crowds to just 50. Entertainment venues and gyms are also shut down under Wolf's order. 

"The work we do now to slow the spread of covid is not only crucial to our fellow Pennsylvanians’ safety and health, it helps us get back to normal as quickly as possible," Wolf said in a Thursday briefing.

The heightened coronavirus restrictions come at a time when the pandemic has exploded in the Keystone State and hospitals are being stretched thin. On Friday, the health department reported over 12.5K new cases and 200 virus-related deaths. Many healthcare workers and experts working on the frontlines of the pandemic applauded Wolf's order. 

MORE: Coronavirus Restrictions: What you need to know in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

While some view the order as a necessary evil when faced with the troubling case numbers and rising hospitalizations and deaths. Business owners are left to wonder what's next.

"We have no resources," Federico said. "Our resources are over. What I saved for 40 years is gone."


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