Pennsylvania’s Ban on Indoor Dining, Gyms & More Will NOT Extend Past January 4
Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf will in fact lift the restrictions on Monday that banned indoor dining, gyms and more in the state since mid-December.
The measure, which was imposed on December 12, was put into effect to slow the state’s surging COVID-19 cases during the holiday season. The closures were set to expire at 8 am on Monday, January 4, but many feared that the Commonwealth could extend the restrictions past that.
Wolf is expected to formally announce the news that the restrictions will expire at a press conference later today, multiple outlets including the Inquirer are reporting.
The expiration of the measure will allow indoor dining to resume. Plus, gyms, casinos, theaters and extracurricular (and sports) activities at schools can resume. The original mitigation efforts (including reduced capacities and mandatory mask requirements) will remain in effect across the state.
This measure, however, does not mean these ‘higher risk’ activities can resume in the city of Philadelphia. In fact, those restrictions will remain in effect through at least January 15, according to an update from the city last week (December 22).
Philadelphia's Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said that the city is expecting another spike in COVID-19 cases as many gathered for the holidays. As a result, the restrictions on the riskiest settings will last through at least January 15. This includes a ban on indoor dining, indoor gatherings, casinos, organized sports and more.
"Lower risk" activities such as museums, gyms, in-person learning for high schools and outdoor events will be allowed to resume on January 4, Farley said.
"We have made progress and saved lives with our Safer at Home restrictions," said Farley. "Now we need to be very careful with how we allow activities to restart-- especially around the holiday season-- so that we don't ignite another surge in the virus."