Indoor dining will be allowed to resume in the city of Philadelphia on September 8, the city's Mayor Jim Kenney just announced during 1 pm press conference on Thursday.

The state of Pennsylvania entered the "green phase" of Governor Wolf's reopening plan earlier this summer, which allowed indoor dining to resume. However, in early July, the city of Philadelphia cited concerning trends in the coronavirus cases, and as a result, held off on allowing indoor dining to resume.

Since that time the city has had a declining coronavirus caseload for several weeks.

Of course, there will be restrictions in place (in accordance with state, federal, and local officials) for dining. Some of those restrictions, which were announced by the city's health commission, Dr. Thomas Farley, include:

  • Occupancy at an indoor restaurant will be capped 25% of capacity, which is consistent with state regulations.
  • All tables and seating must be kept 6 feet apart.
  • No more than four persons will be allowed to sit at a table. This is emphasizing the dining out is not a social activity, but instead meant to occur with members of your household, Farley said.
  • Seating will NOT be allowed at a bar, and bars themselves will NOT be able to open. All Alcohol must be purchased with a meal, per the state guidelines

Additionally, all restaurant servers will be required to wear BOTH a face mask, and a face shield, Farley said.

Dr. Farley acknowledged that the dining regulations will begin after Labor Day, and says that was an intentional decision. The city does not want to have a rush of diners over the upcoming holiday weekend.

Both the mayor and health commissioner reminded residents on Thursday that the progress to allow indoor dining must continue, and if there is a surge in cases, this could be changed.