Coronavirus: What you can and cannot do under the current restrictions in Pennsylvania

Coronavirus: What you can and cannot do under the current restrictions in Pennsylvania
(WPXI/Cox Media Group)

PITTSBURGH — All counties in Pennsylvania will be in the green phase in Gov. Tom Wolf’s color-coded reopening system starting on Friday.

On July 2, the Allegheny County Health Department issued new orders that will close in-person service at all bars, restaurants, casinos and events of more than 25 people for a week starting July 3.

This is in addition to the previous order from Dr. Debra Bogen that bans restaurants and bars from selling alcohol for on-site consumption.

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Here is what you can and cannot do under the current restrictions in the state:

What does being in the green phase mean?

Under the green phase, restaurants and bars, hair salons, barbershops, gyms, spas, wellness facilities, casinos, theaters and shopping malls are all allowed to open, but they must limit occupancy to 50%. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines must continue to be followed.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said people will still need to wear masks and still be vigilant to potential spread.

Here’s what’s open in the green phase

  • Large gatherings with fewer than 250 people.
  • Restaurants and bars open at 50% occupancy.
  • Personal care services (including hair salons and barbershops) open at 50% occupancy and by appointment only.
  • Indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities, and personal care services (such as gyms and spas) open at 50% occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged.
  • All entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) open at 50% occupancy.
  • Construction activity may return to full capacity with continued implementation of protocols.
  • Visitation to prisons and hospitals may resume subject to the discretion of the facility. Visitors who interact with residents and patients must be diligent regarding hygiene. Given the critical importance of limiting COVID-19 exposure in nursing homes, personal care home and long-term care facilities, visitation restrictions will initially remain in place.

Green Phase Dining

Retail food service businesses, including restaurants, and bars located in counties designated as being in the green phase are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits:

  • Bar seating may be utilized if customers are seated and comply with physical distancing guideline of at least 6 feet or physical barriers between customers. Standing in a bar area will not be permitted.
  • A maximum of four customers that have a common relationship may sit together at the bar, while adhering to the physical distancing guidelines or barriers between other customers.

No business is required to conduct in-person operations and should not do so if unable to follow applicable guidance.

Mandatory mask order now in effect in Pennsylvania

Masks must now be worn whenever anyone leaves home, according to a new order signed by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

According to the order, Face coverings are required if you are:

  • Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet from individuals who are not a member of your household.
  • In any indoor location where members of the public are generally permitted.
  • Waiting for, riding on, driving, or operating public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing service.
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic or blood bank.
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in any space visited by members of the public, working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others, working in or walking through common areas, or in any room or enclosed area where other people, expect for members of the person’s own household or residence, are present when unable to physically distance.

Here are the exceptions to the face mask requirement, according to the order:

  • Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition or disability.
  • Individuals for whom wearing a mask while working would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
  • Individuals who would be unable to remove a mask without assistance
  • Individuals who are under two years of age
  • Individuals who are communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

The order says individuals are not required to show documentation that an exception replies.

Quarantine after travel

If you have traveled, or plan to travel, to an area where there are high amounts of COVID-19 cases, it is recommended that you stay at home for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. Those states include the following:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

Allegheny County bars, restaurants closed for in-person service for one week; events over 25 people canceled

The Allegheny County Health Department has issued new orders Thursday that will close in-person service at all bars, restaurants, casinos and events of more than 25 people for a week starting July 3.

This is in addition to the previous order from Dr. Debra Bogen that bans restaurants and bars from selling alcohol for on-site consumption.

Along with that order, Bogen also recommended a voluntary stay-at-home protocol for county residents. During this weeklong closure, food establishments can still offer take-out and delivery.

The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday.

Hair, nail salons prepare to open when the counties they’re in move to green phase