Gov. Wolf Announces New Guidance for Outdoor and Indoor Dining

Counties in the Yellow phase will have outdoor dining on June 5. Green phase counties will also be allowed limited indoor dining.


The Wolf administration today announced guidance for expanded restaurant operations. 

“We’re really happy that Gov. Wolf accepted our recommendations. We’ve worked really hard since the beginning of this pandemic to find a way to open restaurants in a safe way, one that protects restaurant guests and employees,” says Ben Fileccia, the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association’s director of operations and strategy. 

As of now, Allegheny County is in the yellow phase, and no announcements have been made for when it will move to green. 

Among the guidance in the yellow phase are the following:

  • Outdoor dining, provided that the establishments adhere to maximum occupancy limits, is permitted. Those limits are 50 percent of stated capacity or 12 people per 1,000 square feet if there is not a fire code number available. However, tables must be spaced 6 feet from each other, and so the number of allowed diners will be reduced if that seating arrangement contains a smaller capacity than 50 percent. 
  • Face coverings are required for customers who are “entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant or retail food service business,” but are not required while sitting at a table. 
  • Restaurants must assign an employee to monitor and clean high-touch areas such as bathrooms, entrances and host stands.
  • Restaurants must provide masks to employees, who are to wear them at all times while working.
  • Customers must be seated at tables; no bar seating is allowed even if outdoors. 
  • Self-service food and drink options such as buffets are prohibited.
  • Menus must be single-use.

Additional guidance such as drafting worksite-specific COVID-19 plans, limiting seating to a maximum of 10 people per table and using touchless technology whenever possible are also provided. 

Read the guidance in its entirety here.

“We know that restaurants are really hurting. We totally support anything they can do to open and be safe. The city supports restaurants or any other retail business if they want to close down sidewalks and streets but they have to agree to do it collectively,” says Tim McNulty, Director of Communications for the Office of Mayor William Peduto, noting that different solutions will work best for various business districts. The City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure advisory committee assembled a report on how city streets could be used to support business and public health. 

Pittsburgh Magazine will have more in the forthcoming days about how this will affect Pittsburgh dining. 

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