By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia leaders reiterated while they know Friday’s shutdowns will hit business owners hard, these restrictions are meant to keep people from spreading COVID-19. Some are questioning the science and logic.

Folks are out here for their last indoor dining hurrah and others are bundled up near the heaters, still dining al fresco, before tighter restrictions take effect at 5 p.m. Friday.

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“I’m just upset we can’t stay healthy, like it’s hard to get outside,” Colton Smith said.

“I work loss prevention in a department store in Center City and I come into more contact with people there than I do in the gym,” Jo Hewitt said.

Those who enjoy pumping iron in the gym aren’t pleased with the latest set of restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Gyms will be closed until January and indoor dining will be prohibited starting Friday.

“It’s a bummer,” said Caroline Franano of Media. “But we’ve been through it before, we’ll get through it again.”

But as restrictions tighten in Philadelphia, some events that draw large crowds are still happening this year, like Christmas Village in Philadelphia.

“The Christmas Village celebration is just a wonderful event and it helps lift people spirits. But here’s the thing, outdoor gatherings, the Philadelphia Department of Health even said, avoid large outdoor gatherings,” Dr. Rob Danoff, the program director for Jefferson Health Northeast Family Medicine, said.

Only half of the vendors will return this year and each will be spaced 10 feet apart. All guests must also wear a mask.

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Though precautions are in place to limit exposure, the Christmas market does have a disclaimer at the bottom of its site, reading, “Please be aware that exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present. We cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit.”

It goes on to say, “Guests should evaluate their own risk in determining whether to attend.”

“Anyone at higher risk of disease, we’re encouraging please, it’s better not to go,” Danoff said. “Don’t take a chance right now.”

Late this afternoon, a local attorney representing a group made up of 15 restaurant owners and those representing food industry workers filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Mayor Jim Kenney to stop the shutdown of indoor dining.


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Kimberly Davis