Philly is under curfew again Friday, June 5, starting at 8 p.m. and lasting until 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. This is the seventh night of curfews amid the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality. With more protests planned for Friday and likely into the weekend, there’s a chance the curfew will last through the weekend as well. Friday is also the first day of Philly’s limited reopening during the coronavirus pandemic.
The protests kicked off in Philly last Saturday, May 30, as part of a nationwide response to the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by Minneapolis police officers. Alongside the marches, the city has seen vandalism, looting, and multiple accounts of police aggression.
The curfew means that people can only leave their homes to work at essential businesses or to get medical or police help. Restaurants and grocery stores are not considered essential in this instance, which means in most cases they have to close well before 8 p.m., so workers can get home before the curfew starts.
As of today, Philly is in “a modified version” of the yellow, of middle, phase of Pennsylvania’s three-phase reopening plan. In the yellow phase, some businesses previously ordered to close to slow the spread of COVID-19 can now reopen.
In the rest of the state, yellow means restaurants, previously limited to takeout and delivery, can start offering outdoor dining, with several restrictions, including limiting occupancy to 50 percent and ensuring at least 6 feet between parties at different tables.
However, in Philly, outdoor dining is not yet allowed, partially because of the protests, which diverted the city’s attention from issuing health and safety guidelines to restaurants and also made it seem like not the best time to start up patio seating. But it was not clear before the protests if the city planned to allow outdoor dining this weekend anyway.
For now, word is outdoor dining will be permitted at some point next week.