Philadelphia Won’t Loosen COVID Restrictions Like the Rest of the State in Early April
The City of Philadelphia will not follow the state of Pennsylvania's guidelines to loosen the coronavirus restrictions on April 4.
The city's Health Commission Dr. Thomas Farley cited rising case counts of the virus as the reason during Tuesday afternoon's COVID-19 press briefing.
The changes which were allowed by Governor Wolf's administration on a statewide level, effective April 4, have a significant impact on indoor dining options across the state.
Effective that date, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will allow restaurants to increase seating from 50% to 75% of their capacity indoors.
The city of Philadelphia, however, is concerned about reopening at such a level as COVID-19 cases continue to rise (including hospitalizations).
“There’s a lot of reasons still to be optimistic over the next few months,” Farley said. “Today, the epidemic is still growing, it’s still here, and it’s still deadly.”
The state also plans to allow bars to resume service -- including the removal of the 11 pm curfew. In fact, patrons able to order alcohol without food service. Gyms, casinos, and other venues can increase capacity to 75%, according to Governor Wolf.
There's some hope on the horizon in the city of Philadelphia, however. Dr. Farley says that the city could allow restrictions to be loosened on April 30 "if case rates are declining at a satisfactory level" by that point. The restrictions that could be loosed could allow restaurants could reopen to 75% capacity and bar service without food orders.
Even as the state loosens some restrictions, Governor Wolf is reminding residents to continue to practice COVID-19 safety measures.
“We’ve come so far and now is not the time to stop the safety measures we have in place to protect ourselves, our families and our communities,” Gov. Wolf said. “Keep wearing a mask, social distancing, and, please, get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.