COVID-19: Philadelphia to lift indoor dining (and theatre and movie) ban on September 8th

As of September 8, 2020, Philadelphia will allow indoor dining at restaurants.

Key elements of the dining restrictions include:

1.  Restaurants cannot be filled to more than 25% capacity.

2.  No more than 4 diners per table.

3.  Tables must be arranged so that diners at separate tables are at least 6 feet apart or have an impermeable barrier between them.

The indoor dining ban will lift a day after Labor Day in an attempt to avoid holiday crowds. Indoor dining has been banned since mid-March.

Per the Philadelphia Business Journal, restaurant owners are also being urged to increase ventilation in their establishments to further decrease the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Outdoor dining is permitted to continue under current restrictions, including having no more than 50 people outside.

Other restrictions will include:

1.  Servers must wear both masks and face shields for additional protection.

2.  Continuation of no bar service.

3.  Alcohol can be served only for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.

4.  Last call for all indoor dining orders will be at 11 p.m. and establishments will be required to be closed for service by midnight.

5.  Restaurants must install physical barriers such as sneeze guards or partitions in restaurant kitchens and at cash registers, host stands, and food pick-up areas where maintaining physical distance of at least six feet is difficult.

6.  Restaurants are required to  screen every employee for symptoms before every shift and prevent them from remaining on-site if they have a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell.

Indoor theaters and movie theaters will also be allowed to reopen on Sept. 8 with venues not to exceed 50% capacity, with a maximum of 25 people allowed.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Eve Klein, Jonathan Segal, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!