On May 27, Gov. Wolf released guidelines for reopening Pennsylvania's restaurants in the green phase and announced that restaurants in yellow counties may offer outdoor dining. While Philadelphia County has moved into the green phase, Philadelphia officials have not permitted indoor dining to take place and have issued stricter guidelines and requirements on restaurants operating in the City. Both state and local guidelines must be followed.
JANUARY 12, 2021 ANNOUNCEMENT
Philadelphia officials announced that indoor dining will be allowed to resume beginning January 16. The Health Department issued revised guidance on January 15, 2021. Items of note include the following:
NOVEMBER 16, 2020, ANNOUNCEMENT
Philadelphia officials announced new "Safer At Home" restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 cases in the city. These restrictions take effect at 5 p.m. on November 20, 2020, and go until January 1, 2021, and could be extended or amended. Items of note include the following:
SEPTEMBER 10, 2020, ANNOUNCEMENT
The City announced that effective Monday, September 14, the capacity for outdoor events will rise from 50 to 150 people. There is no change for indoor event capacity limits, which remain at a maximum of 25 people.
AUGUST 20, 2020, ANNOUNCEMENT
The City of Philadelphia announced that indoor dining may resume on September 8. Noteworthy items from this announcement including the following items:
The City of Philadelphia also released an application for restaurants that wish to have more than 50 people at one time for outdoor seating. DOWNLOAD
JULY 14, 2020, ANNOUNCEMENT
The City of Philadelphia announced that any city-sponsored or sanctioned large event (parade, run, etc.) of 50 people or more will be canceled through February 28, 2021. Please note that this does not apply to private events, like weddings. PRESS RELEASE
JULY 3, 2020, UPDATE
The Philadelphia Health Department today clarified that the reason indoor dining has not been permitted is because so many operators are not following outdoor dining regulations. These operators and their blatant disregard of the rules and regulations are one of the reasons the City believes case counts are increasing.
Beginning this weekend (July 3), the City will no longer issue warnings to businesses are that blatantly violating standards. If an operation is in violation, it will be required to immediately cease operations. Further, the following additional steps may be taken:
While businesses are required to meet all requirements from the State and the City (see guidance documents below), the primary focus and enforcement will be on:
Until the City sees compliance from restaurants, indoor dining will not happen.
Reopening Restaurants FAQs
What does it mean that the Pa. Legislature passed a resolution ending the Governor's Emergency Disaster Declaration?
At this time, nothing has changed. Businesses should continue following the guidance provided for the yellow and green phases of reopening and enforcement will continue for those who violate the orders of the Governor or Secretary of Health. The issue will likely go to the Pa. Supreme Court. However, Gov. Wolf outlined the consequences of ending the declaration. Importantly, ending the disaster declaration would not end any orders issued by the Secretary of Health that set guidelines for business operations. PRESS RELEASE
Would outdoor dining be a rooftop if they offered sit down meal service?
A rooftop could be used as an outdoor dining space so long as it is not enclosed.
Once my county moves to indoor dining, does outdoor dining go away?