Restaurants, bars in Pennsylvania to see some pandemic limits lift in April

RESTRICTIONS EASING — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks at a COVID-19 vaccination site setup at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., Monday. -- Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf will expand more business and event capacity limits and lift a raft of long-standing coronavirus restrictions on bar service in Pennsylvania starting on Easter Sunday, giving some relief to one of the hardest-hit business sectors, his administration said Monday.

The announcement relaxing capacity limits on events is the second time Wolf has taken such a step this month as spring sports seasons start up and virus-related hospitalizations continue to decline.

The relief is still three weeks away, meaning bars and restaurants will still have to live with the current limits during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the NCAA Tournament’s March Madness craze.

Those establishments can raise indoor capacity limits to a maximum of 75 percent from 50 percent, but must follow the state’s social-distancing requirements, which include wearing masks except for when eating and drinking.

Going away are a ban on seating at the bar and serving alcohol after 11 p.m., as well as a requirement that patrons order food with their alcoholic drinks.

Other businesses can also move to 75 percent of maximum capacity, including personal services salons, gyms, casinos, theaters and malls.

For gatherings, outdoor events can start to host up to 50 percent of maximum capacity, up from 20 percent, while indoor gatherings can host up to 20 percent of maximum capacity, up from 15 percent.


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