Gov. Wolf announces restaurants can open at 50% capacity, but must complete self-certification program | Coronavirus | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Gov. Wolf announces restaurants can open at 50% capacity, but must complete self-certification program

Today, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-York) announced that restaurants across Pennsylvania can increase their indoor dining to 50% capacity beginning on Sept. 21. To ensure that restaurants are complying with COVID-19 safety protocols, establishments must complete an online self-certification process, which will make public information about their building's capacity and include a signed statement from owners.

According to a press release, restaurants that complete the self-certification process will be added to a searchable database called Open & Certified Pennsylvania. The database will ensure "that consumers can make more informed choices about the food establishments they are looking to patronize."

Information pertaining to a restaurant's self-certification will be available online beginning Sept. 21. The press release states that restaurants should continue to practice social distancing and mask-wearing after self-certification, and that they will be "mailed Open & Certified Pennsylvania branded materials" like signs and window clings.


“While our aggressive and appropriate mitigation efforts have kept case counts low, we must continue to take important steps to protect public health and safety as we head into the fall. At the same time, we must also support the retail food services industry that has struggled throughout this pandemic,” said Wolf in a statement. “The self-certification ensures that restaurants can expand indoor operations and commit to all appropriate orders so that employees and customers alike can be confident they are properly protected.”

In July, Wolf signed an order that capped statewide indoor dining at 25%. The change could be motivated by the onset of cooler fall temperatures that could impact the indoor dining that has sustained many restaurants throughout the summer. 

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