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Gov. Wolf announces new COVID Guidelines that ease back on the restrictions

By: Adam Beam 3/20/21

Photo Courtesy: Dan Zampogna

Following an announcement Monday, Governor Tom Wolf plans to ease back on certain COVID-19 restrictions that are set to benefit indoor venues and events.

Beginning at midnight on April 4, all restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues, gyms, and other indoor venues will be allowed a limited capacity of 75% occupancy. Restaurants will also have the benefit of resuming bar services, and all alcohol services without purchasing any food. Alcohol can also be sold after 11 PM. Indoor events will now also be set at 25% occupancy, while outdoor events can have a capacity of 50%.

As Governor Wolf explained, “Pennsylvanians have stepped up and done their part to help curb the spread of COVID-19. It’s time to allow our restaurants, bars and other service businesses to get back to more normal operations.” However, in order for restaurants and other venues to open up at the 75% capacity, these venues must complete the state’s self-certification. As his administration describes, any restaurants that do not self certify will be capped off at 50% occupancy, which is the current capacity for venues that are certified.

It should be noted that this is now the second time in weeks that Governor Wolf has leaned back on COVID restrictions, as he raised occupancy limits on indoor events to 15% of capacity and up to 20% for outdoor events. Although, it should also be noted that at all these venues and events, that social distancing of six feet is still mandatory, as well as masks being strongly encouraged.

Pennsylvania now joins numerous other states that have begun to cut back on the restrictions that have been in place for months. This is mainly due to the massive rollout of the COVID vaccine, which has slowly helped lower the number of positive cases and fatalities. However, many health officials warn that we are still not in the clear yet, and recent reports now show that cases are rising in 14 states, Pennsylvania being one of them.

Despite this news, Governor Wolf still plans to move ahead with the decision, and only time will tell if restrictions will continue to lessen or increase in the near future.

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