Restaurants can reopen bar service, sell drinks without food, starting April 4

Restaurants can resume bar service, sell alcohol without customers needing to purchase food first and fill their dining room to 75% capacity beginning April 4, Gov. Wolf announced in a press release on Monday.

The updated mitigation efforts come after a significant decline in COVID-19 cases and climbing vaccination rates, according to Wolf.

“Our case counts continue to go down, hospitalizations are declining, and the percent positivity rate gets lower every week – all very positive signs,” he said. “The number of people getting vaccinated increases daily and we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to allow our restaurants, bars and other service businesses to get back to more normal operations.”

The state’s mitigation measures have been a highly contested issue, with many in the restaurant industry questioning the effectiveness of COVID-19 mitigation efforts limiting customers at bars.

Restaurants will be able to raise their indoor dining capacity if they are self-certified or if they become self-certified by agreeing to strictly comply with the state’s public health safety guidance and orders.

Along with the change to the state’s limitations on restaurants, personal service facilities, gyms and entertainment facilities such as casinos, theaters and malls will also move to 75% occupancy.

Wolf’s orders allow indoor events to increase to 25% of maximum occupancy and outdoor events to 50% of maximum occupancy regardless of venue size.

Wolf noted that social distancing, mask wearing and other requirements will still be in effect.

“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,” Wolf said. “Keep wearing a mask, social distancing, and, please, get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”


Ioannis Pashakis
Ioannis Pashakis covers health care, the gig economy, cannabis and technology. Email him at ipashakis@bridgetowermedia.com.

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