PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dr. Anthony Fauci says bars and restaurants should not reopen in areas seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases. This comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows people who recently dined out or went to bars are two times more likely to test positive for COVID-19.
Philadelphia is still 25% capacity when it comes to indoor dining, but there is no shortage of space when it comes to outdoor dining. The city is expanding that option while the rest of the state is about to expand indoor dining capacity.
Outdoor dining is ever-expanding throughout Philadelphia.
Restaurants like Tradesmans on the 1300 block of Chestnut Street are capitalizing on more street closures to accommodate more diners.
“Outdoor dining has been huge for us so when we got these street closures, we took full advantage. It’s been amazing for us, business has been awesome because of this,” Alexis Alman said.
The city just announced as many as a dozen street closures for this weekend from Center City to South Street to Manayunk. It’s a much-needed lifeline for businesses, especially on a busy weekend.
“Eagles on Sunday. It’s our home opener which is super exciting and from what I’m told nobody’s allowed to tailgate so these street closures are huge because people are ready to come out and watch the games,” Alman said.
COVID-19 case counts are keeping Philadelphia restaurants at 25% capacity for indoor dining, but Gov. Tom Wolf will loosen restrictions beginning Monday to allow for 50% capacity in restaurants elsewhere in Pennsylvania and an extended alcohol serving time until 11 p.m.
“I can’t wait to get to 100%, but I do appreciate that we’re, you know, trying to keep everybody safe. It’s interesting that just five minutes outside of the city you can do this, where inside the city you can’t but we’re patiently waiting” Alman said.
Lots of restaurants are certainly patiently waiting for their moment at least to get to 50% capacity for indoor dining in the City of Philadelphia, but the city is making other ways of trying to make sure that business is booming for restaurants.
So they’re trying to do their part in that way and they say they’ll continue to assess the situation throughout the state once that capacity is expanded.