These restrictions come in response to an alarming resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the Philadelphia area. An expansion of the city’s ongoing “Safer at Home” initiative, the restrictions go into effect Friday, November 20, 2020, and will last until at least January 1, 2021.
The new restrictions will close indoor restaurants, gyms and theaters. Offices may only utilize in-person employees who cannot work remotely. All indoor gatherings are prohibited, whether public or private. Outdoor events may continue subject to enhanced limits on capacity. As the holiday season approaches, the restrictions will make it a violation to hold any indoor celebrations with guests from more than one household.
The new restrictions also require colleges and high schools to conduct classes virtually. Other schools may continue in-person instruction.
Under the new guidance, the following business operations will be closed through the end of the year:
Although outdoor dining may continue, the maximum number of people per table is reduced from six to four. Also, diners may only sit with members of their own household.
Another class of businesses, including but not limited to barber shops, salons and retail stores may continue operating at reduced capacities. Other businesses, including but not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, hotels and construction are not directly impacted by the new initiative. These businesses remain subject to existing social distancing, masking and other public health measures.
The city indicated that additional restrictions, including an extension of these new restrictions beyond January 1, 2021, are possible depending on the continued spread of the virus.
The new restrictions represent the most significant change in policy since Philadelphia began reopening in June.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Author Patrick McKnight is an associate in the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.