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Gov. Wolf: Restaurants can increase capacity

The change allows restaurants to increase from 25% to 50% seating capacity.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that restaurants can increase their seating to 50 percent capacity.

The new rule goes into effect on September 21.

Restaurants will have to commit to strictly complying with all public health safety guidelines and orders through a self-certification process.

Also starting September 21, restaurants that have alcohol sales must stop at 10 p.m.

"Now I think we're at a point where we are ready to lift that, partially. It's going to 50%. we're still saying alcohol sales, shut 'em down at 10. And so, I think this is something Pennsylvania has done a nice job so far, and we need to continue, but I think we're in a position to recognize the hardship this has caused for restaurants, and, at the same time, continue to do what we can do to keep people safe," Gov. Wolf said.

The self-certification documents and information about the Open & Certified Pennsylvania program can be found online starting September 21 and will contain the following: 

  • A list of requirements contained in the current restaurant industry guidance and enforcement efforts;   
  • A statement that the owner has reviewed and agrees to follow these requirements; 
  • The business' maximum indoor occupancy number based on the fire code; and 
  • A statement that the owner understands that the certification is subject to penalties for unsworn falsification to authorities

Any restaurant that wishes to increase to 50 percent indoor capacity on September 21 must complete the online self-certification process by October 5.