HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Governor Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that restaurants in the state will be allowed to increase indoor occupancy to 50% on Sept. 21.
He said these restaurants must commit to strictly complying with health safety guidelines through a self-certification process.
“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,” Gov. Wolf said. “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.”
Self-certified restaurants will appear on an online Open & Certified Pennsylvania database. Customers will be able to access the database to find certified businesses in their area.
Starting Sept. 21, the database will include 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.
Restaurants that want to move to 50% occupancy on Sept. 21 must finish the self-certification process by Oct. 5.
They will be subject to status checks by the Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.
Self-certified restaurants will get window clings and other signs designating their certification.
“We recognize the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Pennsylvania’s small businesses, especially on our restaurants,” added Gov. Wolf. “Through this self-certification process, our commonwealth’s restaurant industry will ensure the safety and well-being of both employees and patrons alike, and will be able to begin a return to normal operations and financial recovery.”
Also starting Sept. 21, restaurants that sell alcohol will close those sales at 10 p.m., which was modeled after Ohio.
Restaurant owners with additional questions about the self-certification program can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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