The new measures will go into effect on Friday, November 20, and will remain in place until January 1.
On Monday afternoon, November 16, Mayor Jim Kenney and health secretary Thomas Farley announced the city would be imposing a set of new COVID restrictions as cases in Philly continue to rise. The new measures will take effect on Friday, November 20, and will remain until January 1. However, city officials didn’t rule out the possibility of extending them past January. Putting even stricter measures in place during this time is also a possibility.
“We do not take any of this lightly,” said Mayor Kenney on Monday. “And believe me, more than anything in the world, I wish none of this was necessary. But there is no doubt these changes are necessary.”
These new restrictions will affect businesses, events and gatherings, and other activities to help flatten the epidemic curve and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
The following businesses will remain closed starting Friday: High schools and colleges must move to online instruction only, theatres and other performance centers, bowling alleys, arcades, game centers, museums, libraries, casinos, gyms and indoor exercise classes and Senior day services.
In regards to dining out, officials stated indoor dining is absolutely prohibited. Outdoor dining, however, is still permitted, but restaurants must reduce to four the number of guests per table that should be from the same household only.
Salons, spas and barbershops are allowed to remain open. But staff members and customers must be masked at all times.
Additionally, the city will be banning all indoor gatherings involving members of other households for all kinds of events except for religious ones, so if you live by yourself and were planning to spend Thanksgiving with the family that is now off the table.
Outdoor gatherings and events are limited to 10 percent of maximum capacity of the space, or 10 people per 1,000 square foot for venues with an undefined maximum capacity. Masks will be mandatory at all time for those attending an outdoor gathering.
Retail stores and indoor malls may continue to operate, but with a maximum density of 5 people per 1,000 square feet. Zoos will also be allowed to remain open as long as they operate in outdoor areas only.
Businesses like groceries stores, banks, pharmacies, drive-in events where people remain in their vehicles and hotels won’t be affected by the new restrictions and will continue to operate as usual.
For more information, make sure to check out the city of Philadelphia’s website here.
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