Coronavirus: Pennsylvania restaurants to expand to 50% capacity

Coronavirus: Pennsylvania restaurants to expand to 50% capacity
File photo restaurant (Donny Harder Jr/Flickr)

Pennsylvania restaurants will be allowed to increase the number of patrons served indoors beginning Monday.

Restaurants in the state will be able to utilize 50% of their capacities to serve customers. That’s up from the previous limit of 25%.

The state’s indoor gathering limit of 50 people will not change.

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Restaurant owners that wish to take advantage of the new allowance must fill out self-certification forms online. The documents hold owners accountable for upholding certain guidelines relative to coronavirus safety procedures.

Those who violate the guidelines will be subject to penalties, but government officials said any health and safety violations will be handled first with warnings and education rather than fines or other penalties.

Restaurants have the right to continue serving at 25% capacity or to increase to 50%.

“As we continue to take critical steps to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we also recognize that this pandemic has taken a significant toll on the food services industry, so we must balance public health and economic recovery,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “These orders give restaurants the ability to increase indoor occupancy safely while giving customers confidence when deciding to patronize a restaurant.”

On-site alcohol sales at restaurants are required to stop at 11 p.m. Patrons have until midnight to finish drinks purchased before 11 p.m.