By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia restaurants can now operate indoor dining at 50% capacity but they must follow strict guidelines. Restaurants that wish to move from 25% to 50% capacity must certify online that they are following state and CDC guidelines.

They must also continue to follow city regulations that include tables spaced six feet apart, no more than four people per table, no bar seating, no alcohol served without a meal and servers wearing both masks and face shields.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley joined Eyewitness News Friday morning to discuss easing the restrictions.

Farley says the city has seen a decrease in the numbers from September compared to August.

“We’ve been the lowest we’ve been since early March as far as the number of tests per day and the percent of tests that are positive,” Farley said. “And so we do think that we can cautiously increase the number of people who can eat indoors. There are still a lot of precautions people need to take and restaurants have to put in place a lot of safety procedures to protect those that are indoors and we’re encouraging restaurants to continue to allow people to eat outdoors.”

Case counts are overall lower, but health officials will continue to monitor the situation and if numbers begin to rise as we head into flu season they will put restrictions back into place.

Restaurants outside of Philadelphia have been operating at 50% capacity since September 21.

Dr. Farley says Philadelphia following suit shows what a great job city residents are doing with mask-wearing and social distancing.