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Wolf Administration Orders New, Temporary Restrictions on Dining, Retail Capacity, and Gatherings

On Thursday, December 10th, Governor Tom Wolf issued new, temporary orders to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The new measures go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 12th until 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 4th.

The new orders include the following:

In-Person Dining and Alcohol Sales
– All in-person indoor dining at businesses in the retail food services industry, including, but not limited to, bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs, and private catered events is prohibited.

– Outdoor dining, take-out food service, and take-out alcohol sales are permitted and may continue, subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law, or this or any other Order issued by the Sec. of Health or by the governor.

Capacity Limits for Businesses
– All in-person businesses serving the public may only operate at up to 50% of the maximum capacity stated on the applicable certificate of occupancy, except as limited by existing orders to a smaller capacity limit. (Capacity limits do not apply to normal, non-public facing business operations such as manufacturing facilities or offices. However, telework is required whenever possible.)

Gyms and Fitness Facilities
– Indoor operations at gyms and fitness facilities are prohibited.

– Outdoor facilities and outdoor classes can continue, but all participants must wear face coverings in accordance with the Sec. of Health’s Updated Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings, including any subsequent amendments, and practice physical distancing requirements.

Entertainment Industry
– All in-person businesses in the entertainment industry serving the public within a building or indoor defined area, including, but not limited to, theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys, private clubs, and all other similar entertainment, recreational or social facilities, are prohibited from operation. Since restrictions have been imposed in many major casino establishments as well, the entertainment industries of various countries like Germany, have introduced online gaming/gambling. If you want to know how to play on these sites, click on this link –

Gatherings and Events
– Indoor gatherings and events of more than 10 persons are prohibited.

– Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations set forth above during religious services, these institutions are strongly encouraged to find alternative methods for worship, as in person gatherings pose a significant risk to participants at this time.

– Outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 persons are prohibited.

In-Person Extracurricular School Activities
– Voluntary activities sponsored or approved by a school entity’s governing body or administration are suspended, but these extracurricular activities may be held virtually. This includes, but is not limited to, attendance at or participation in activities such musical ensembles, school plays, student council, clubs, and school dances.

K-12 School Sports and Youth Sports
– All sports at K-12 public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intermural, and intramural sports are paused.

Professional and Collegiate Sports
– Professional or collegiate sports activities may continue in accordance with guidance from the CDC and the Department of Health.

– Spectators may not attend such sports activities in person.

Additional details and links to the full orders are available here.

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