Restaurants in Pennsylvania Will Be Allowed to Raise Indoor Occupancy Limits

The new rules will take effect later this month.

Wolf Restaurants

Beginning Sept. 21, restaurants in Pennsylvania will be allowed to offer indoor dining at 50% capacity, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday morning.  Indoor occupancy has been limited to 25% since July when cases of COVID-19 rose dramatically in Allegheny County and other parts of the state.

According to a spokeswoman, Allegheny County will follow the new state guidelines even though it has the authority to impose stricter regulations.

“While our aggressive and appropriate mitigation efforts have kept case counts low, we must continue to take important steps to protect public health and safety as we head into the fall,” Wolf said in a statement. “At the same time, we must also support the retail food services industry that has struggled throughout this pandemic.”

The new rules also include ending alcohol sales at 10 p.m.

Any restaurant that wishes to increase to 50% indoor capacity has until Oct. 5 to self-certify online that it complies with all public safety guidelines. A list of self-certified restaurants will be available online. Additionally, restaurants that self-certify will be mailed Open & Certified Pennsylvania branded materials, such as window clings and other signage designating their certification, which they can display for customers and employees.

“We recognize the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Pennsylvania’s small businesses, especially on our restaurants,” said Wolf. “Through this self-certification process, our commonwealth’s restaurant industry will ensure the safety and well-being of both employees and patrons alike, and will be able to begin a return to normal operations and financial recovery.”

Restaurant owners with additional questions about the self-certification program can contact covidselfcert@pa.gov.

Categories: The 412