HomeLocal NewsEffective April 4, gathering limits increase, fewer restrictions on restaurants and businessesEffective April 4, gathering limits increase, fewer restrictions on restaurants and businessesTue, March 16, 2021 by wcednewsSHARE NOW COVID-19 Update_TwitterHarrisburg, PA – As COVID-19 cases have declined and vaccination rates are climbing, Governor Tom Wolf today announced the lifting of some targeted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses, as well as increased gathering limits.Effective April 4, restaurants may resume bar service; alcohol service will be allowed without the purchase of food; the curfew for removing alcoholic drinks from tables will be lifted; and indoor dining capacity will be raised to 75 percent for those restaurants that are currently self-certified and those that undergo the self-certification process, which involves agreeing to strictly comply to all public health safety guidelines and orders, including the cleaning and mitigation protocols and other operational requirements contained in the Governor and Secretary of Health’s mitigation and enforcement orders issued on November 23, 2020, as amended. Those restaurants that do not self-certify may raise capacity to 50 percent. Outdoor dining, curbside pick-up and takeout are still encouraged.Requirements such as mask-wearing, and social distancing, including 6 feet between diners, also still apply.Capacity for other businesses also will be increased effective April 4, including moving personal services facilities, gyms and entertainment facilities (casinos, theatres, malls) to 75 percent occupancy.The governor also announced revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 25% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size, and maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 50% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size. Maximum occupancy is permitted only if attendees and workers are able to comply with the 6-foot physical distancing requirement.“Pennsylvanians have stepped up and done their part of help curb the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our case counts continue to go down, hospitalizations are declining, and the percent positivity rate gets lower every week – all very positive signs. The number of people getting vaccinated increases daily and we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to allow our restaurants, bars and other service businesses to get back to more normal operations.”While the lifting of these restrictions is good news, Gov. Wolf cautioned that mask-wearing, social distancing and business adherence to all safety orders are still imperative.“We’ve come so far and now is not the time to stop the safety measures we have in place to protect ourselves, our families and our communities,” Gov. Wolf said. “Keep wearing a mask, social distancing, and, please, get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”Find more on the restaurant self-certification process here.