The New COVID-19 Restrictions Set Take Effect in Philadelphia
Friday, Nov. 20 will be the last day before the city shuts down again for the novel coronavirus.
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The inevitable is here. A second wave of Covid-19 is sweeping the nation, perhaps scarier than the first time around. In response, Philadelphia officials have implemented new restrictions starting Friday, Nov. 20 to help fight the sharp rise in cases.
Here is what fellow Philadelphians need to know about the new restrictions effective at the end of the week.
The restrictions are very similar to the ones in the spring.
There will no longer be indoor dining. Gyms will be closing as well as museums. In addition, libraries will be closed and eating and drinking will also not be allowed at outdoor gatherings.
With that said, takeout, delivery and some outdoor dining will still be permitted as well as hair salons and barbers.
The restrictions will be in effect until Jan. 1, 2021, six weeks from now, meaning many quiet holiday plans should be organized. There will be no indoor gatherings of any size. Indoor parties, group meals, or watching sporting events as a group is prohibited, and visiting between households is not permitted.
In its COVID-19 update press conference on Monday, Nov. 16, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said the city’s contact tracing connected much of the spread to private gatherings between members of different households.
Outdoor gatherings are restricted to 10% capacity, or 10 people per ever 1,000 square feet.
Outdoor dining is restricted to 4 seats a table, with all people there being from the same household to prevent the spreading of the virus in different homes.
Retail stores can remain open, but the amount of people inside must be limited. For every 1,000 square feet there is a limit of five people, with both staff and customers wearing masks.
As for religious institutions, they can continue to operate with the same capacity restrictions as retail stores — five people for every 1,000 square feet.
Finally, people who work in offices, if permissible, should continue or go back to working from home unless the job cannot absolutely not be performed in that setting.
Colleges and high schools will return to virtual learning through Jan. 1, 2021.
Unfortunately, the reality we are facing is a mix of the winter months springing up on us, and people letting their guard down about the virus. The holidays in 2020 will definitely make for an interesting memory, but in the end, it is for the best and the safety of all Philadelphians involved.