After some uncertainty over whether it would happen, Philadelphia is officially moving into the yellow, or second, phase of Pennsylvania’s three-phase reopening plan on Friday, June 5. This easing of coronavirus-related restrictions, which the city is calling “a modified version of the state’s yellow phase,” doesn’t signal any changes for restaurants immediately, but outdoor dining will likely be allowed next week.
As of Thursday, June 4, Philly is currently in the red phase, with restaurants restricted to takeout and delivery only. Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania restaurants in the yellow phase can offer outdoor dining starting June 5, as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines like limiting occupancy to 50 percent and ensuring at least 6 feet between parties at different tables. In the green phase, restaurants can add indoor dining with similar restrictions.
Following the governor’s announcement, Mayor Jim Kenney contradicted Wolf’s plan, saying the city had not yet decided if outdoor dining was in fact going to be permitted on June 5. And it’s not. But it should be allowed in Philly next weekend, the Inquirer reports. According to the Inquirer, the Black Lives Matter protests pushed back the city’s plans to share safety recommendations with restaurants that don’t already have outdoor tables. The city also didn’t want to commit to starting outdoor dining while protests are happening.