HARRISBURG, Pa. — Out-of-state travel restrictions have been lifted and mitigation orders on gatherings have been revised, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday.
The changes are effective statewide as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccinations continue.
The revised mitigations restrictions include the following, per a news release:
- Revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 15% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Core public health measures such as face covering (mask-wearing), social distancing, and hand hygiene still must be enforced. The 15% of maximum occupancy is permitted only if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.
- Revised maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 20% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Core public health measures such as face covering (mask-wearing), social distancing, and hand hygiene still must be enforced. The 20% of maximum occupancy is permitted only if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.
- Eliminate out-of-state travel restrictions. In November, the Department of Health provided an updated travel order requiring anyone over the age of 11 who visits from another state to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in a travel quarantine for 14 days upon entering Pennsylvania. Today, this order was rescinded. The current downward trend of cases nationwide and implementation of testing requirements and universal face covering on public transportation and transportation hubs are reducing the risk that interstate travel is a vector of disease transmission.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LOCAL EVENTS?
HOME AND GARDEN SHOW
The Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show announced that the annual event will be postponed to October after being scheduled to take place between April 9 and April 18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
“At the present time the state’s current occupancy restrictions for Pennsylvania do not accommodate large indoor gatherings, and it remains uncertain when the state might be able to sufficiently relax those limits,” according to a news release from the event.
The specific October dates for the postponed event will be announced later this spring.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS, PIRATES TO WELCOME FANS BACK TO THE STANDS
The Pittsburgh Penguins are welcoming back fans to PPG Paints Arena starting Tuesday. It will mark the first time the Penguins have been able to welcome fans since a March 8, 2020, game against Carolina.
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Occupancy will be limited to 2,800 people for the remaining 20 home games, including 12 in March. Because of the short notice, the Penguins will make tickets available to Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers on a priority basis to season ticket holders only, Penguin’s officials said in a statement.
Penguins season ticket holders will be given priority to purchase tickets to upcoming games with exclusive access to a pre-sale. Detailed information will be sent directly to season ticket holders. Remaining tickets will be made available to the general public for purchase.
“Seating will be limited to pods of two and four to allow for social distancing within the capacity restrictions. Fans will be given suggested arrival times and gates to enter based upon the location of their seats.
PPG Paints Arena has implemented new safety measures, including drone disinfecting technology in the arena bowl, autonomous UV floor scrubbers, touchless faucets and flush valves in all restrooms and 200-plus hand sanitizer stations. The arena also meets or exceeds all HVAC guidelines set forth by the NHL and NHLPA in their Return to Play protocols.
“Penguins fans can find more information about returning to PPG Paints Arena, on the Know Before You Go page of the Penguins website.
Meanwhile , the Pittsburgh Pirates announced the team will be welcoming fans back for Opening Day.
Pittsburgh Pirates President Travis Williams issued a statement thanking the the governor, county and city administrations “as well as all of our state, county and local health officials for their leadership as we navigate through so many unknowns during this pandemic.”
The Pirates have come up with a plan with partners at AHN, Highmark and Major League Baseball to prepare for the safe return of fans to PNC Park.
The team will announce details about ticket availability, the enhancements that have been made to PNC Park and more specific information about the fan experience.
“Even though our capacity will be limited, Opening Day 2021 will truly be like no other. It will be much more than a game. It will mark a significant step in overcoming this pandemic. We cannot wait to open PNC Park and host our fans for a summer-long celebration of reconnecting with family and friends around Pirates baseball,” the team said in a statement.
HOW DOES THIS IMPACT YOUR TRIPS BACK TO PA?
Previously, anyone over the age of 11 who traveled to another state had to either test negative upon returning to Pa. -- or quarantine for 14 days.
There were some exceptions, such as traveling for work or medical reasons, but certainly not for vacations and leisure.
What this DOES NOT affect is potential restrictions in other states when traveling there from Pennsylvania. This only impacts residents of Pa. when returning home on flights.