Pennsylvania has become the latest state to unveil the easing of targeted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses, as well as increased gathering limits.

Coming as neighbouring states of New Jersey and New York, among others, roll-out similar such strategies, effective Sunday 4 April capacity restrictions for casinos, restaurants, gyms, entertainment facilities, theatres, and malls, will be increased to 75 per cent of occupancy. 

Furthermore, revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events will allow for 25 per cent regardless of venue size, with those for outdoor events allowing 50 per cent regardless of venue size.

Indoor dining capacity will be raised for restaurants that are currently self-certified and those that undergo the self-certification process, which involves agreeing to strictly comply to all public health safety guidelines and orders, including the cleaning and mitigation protocols and other operational requirements.

Those restaurants that do not self-certify may raise capacity to 50 per cent. At the moment, restaurants that certify are limited to 50 per cent occupy, whereas those without are capped at 25 per cent.

“Pennsylvanians have stepped up and done their part of help curb the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Our case counts continue to go down, hospitalizations are declining, and the percent positivity rate gets lower every week – all very positive signs. 

“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.”

However, it is cautioned that mask-wearing, social distancing, including six feet between diners, and business adherence to all safety orders is still imperative.

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

Tomorrow, indoor dining will increase from 35 per cent to 50 per cent capacity in New Jersey, with a heightened 50 per cent cap to be effective on casino floors.