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Philly Restaurants Won’t Reopen for Dine-In Until June at the Earliest

Takeout and delivery are still permitted, but dining rooms are staying closed

At Stephen Starr’s Parc on Rittenhouse Square, customers pick up food orders from a takeout window. Credit cards and pens are wiped with sanitizer.
Rachel Vigoda

The state order directing restaurants and bars in Philadelphia to stay closed except for takeout and delivery will stay in effect until June 4. The order was set to expire on May 8, but Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine extended it Thursday night.

Pennsylvania has a three-phase plan in place for reopening. The process isn’t statewide; the reopening of each county is being determined separately.

The three phases are color-coded red, yellow, and green. (Red is stop; green is go.) The state is looking at the number of new confirmed cases of coronavirus in a region, the region’s testing and contact tracing capacity, and local risk factors, like population density.

During the red and yellow phases, restaurants and bars are limited to delivery and pickup. Once a county reaches green, restaurants and bars can reopen while following CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines, which could mean limiting the amount of customers.

Philly and its surrounding counties are still in the red phase and will stay there until June 4, so nothing in this area is changing until then.

Counties in the north-central and northwest parts of the state moved into the yellow phase on May 8. Those counties are less populated than Philly and have lower coronavirus case counts.

Nonessential businesses in Pennsylvania have been closed since mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19. For restaurants, that means customers are not allowed to eat or drink inside, but delivery and takeout are permitted. Initially, many Philadelphia-area restaurants opted to close entirely. At this point, several have pivoted to delivery and takeout, setting up hand sanitizer stations and outside tables for food pickup and marking off sidewalks to reminder customers to stand six feet apart.