Pennsylvania’s bars and restaurants will soon be able to seat patrons indoors at up to 50 percent of their capacity

Written by on September 9, 2020

Pennsylvania’s bars and restaurants will soon be able to seat patrons indoors at up to 50 percent of their capacity

By Sam Dunklau, WITF

September 9, 2020

Sara Kennely, cleans one of the dining tables at Max’s Allegheny Tavern, Thursday, June 4, 2020. The restaurant taped over the surfaces of some tables to restrict seating to maintain social distancing when patrons are permitted to dine inside when most of southwest Pennsylvania loosens COVID-19 restrictions on Friday. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pennsylvania’s bars and restaurants will soon be able to seat patrons indoors at up to 50 percent of their capacity.

But, WITF’s Sam Dunklau reports owners will have to jump through a few hoops before they can take advantage of the change.

Restaurants and bars had been able to seat that many people before Governor Tom Wolf cut that back to 25 percent in July.

Once the new rule kicks in on the 21st, establishments will have to certify their capacity limit, read and follow all of the state’s COVID prevention protocols, and stop selling alcohol at 10 p.m..

Wolf says the decision is thanks to the progress the commonwealth has made in keeping down the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re in a position to recognize the hardship that this has caused for restaurants, and at the same time, continue to do what we can do to keep people safe,” said Wolf.

Wolf is calling on the legislature to use 100 million dollars of PA’s remaining CARES Act money to help prop up the food service industry.

Republicans in the House agree bringing the capacity limit back up to 50 percent is a good first step for restaurants.

But, they argue, even the remaining restriction is hampering their ability to survive.

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