City Allowing Restaurants To Resume Indoor Dining After Rolling Back Some Restrictions – CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia officials allow restaurants to resume indoor dining in the city after some coronavirus restrictions were lifted. Theaters are also allowed to open as restrictions are lifted on Saturday January 16.
Both must follow capacity rules.
The city also released more detailed information on Tuesday on who should be included in the next phase of vaccinations.
There has been an increase in COVID-19 cases related to holiday gatherings in the city. The numbers are expected to stay high through the winter, but the city’s health officials are expecting some limited improvements, which is why they’re putting restrictions on this weekend.
“We have the impression that the epidemic is likely to improve from here. So we are trying to allow economic activity,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, Philadelphia Commissioner for Health.
The health commissioner says restaurants will be allowed to reopen on Saturday with 25% capacity. The tables are limited to four people from the same household.
The city also recommends that restaurants work to improve ventilation to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
“We’re trying to strike a balance between protecting people from COVID and limiting the downside of restrictions,” said Dr. Farley.
The theaters may reopen with a capacity of 10% without eating or drinking being permitted. Colleges can resume face-to-face tuition too, but there are still restrictions on social gatherings, which is a leading cause of the virus’ spread.
“That means no indoor gatherings, no parties, friends, relatives, no overnight stays for children and avoiding travel,” said Dr. Farley.
Dr. Farley also said the next phase of vaccinations, 1B, would likely begin in late January. This includes people over the age of 75, teachers, first responders, retail workers and public transport operators.
“The local list is different from the federal and commonwealth lists. Individuals under 74 years of age with these high-risk conditions are in Phase 1B instead of Phase 1C. Why is that? This is because these diseases are common among low-income groups and minorities, ”said the health commissioner. “We have higher rates here in Philadelphia than anywhere else. This is a more important risk factor, and this is a way for us to address racial differences and COVID mortality here in Philadelphia.”
Dr. Farley said the vaccinations will be available in a variety of locations, including pharmacies and mass vaccination sites.
He also says planning is challenging due to limited information from the federal government and they are not getting enough vaccine to meet demand.
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