The orders are primarily intended to clarify how restaurants may operate during the yellow and green phases. Professional sports are permitted to resume in the yellow and green phases if no spectators are present and the team submits a COVID-19 safety plan for approval by the Secretary of Health.
Governor Wolf’s order modifies the statewide shutdown of dine-in restaurants. Retail foodservice businesses in green phase counties are permitted to offer dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits. Customers must wear masks while entering and exiting the restaurant. Employees must be provided and wear masks at all times. Occupancy limits are determined by the more restrictive of two methods. The first is a limit to 50% of fire-code capacity or 12 people per 1,000 square feet if there is not a fire code number available. The second method is to arrange the seating so that customers are at least 6 feet from customers at another table.
Beginning June 5, 2020, restaurants and retail foodservice businesses located in yellow phase counties may add dine-in service in outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits. Restaurants in the red phase remain limited to delivery and take-out operations, however, June 5, 2020 is the anticipated end date of red phase for remaining counties.
All businesses must comply with safety guidance specific to mask-wearing, table-spacing, occupancy limits, sanitization, and implementation of a COVID-19 prevention plan, among other provisions. On May 27, 2020, Pennsylvania also updated the FAQ document for essential businesses.
Professional sports are permitted to practice or play in the yellow and green phases of reopening without on-site or venue spectators if the team or league has developed a COVID-19 safety plan. The plan must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and include testing or screening and monitoring of all on-venue players and personnel.
Gatherings of 250 people or more remain prohibited. Hair salons and barbershops in green phase counties may operate by appointment only. Appointments are strongly encouraged for all indoor retail operations, including gyms and spas. All businesses must continue to maintain social distancing and operate at a maximum of 75% capacity. Secretary of Health Levine’s order appears to reflect identical guidance.
On May 28, 2020, Governor Wolf announced Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Schuylkill would move to the yellow phase on May 29, 2020.
Author Patrick McKnight is an associate in the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.