By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new coronavirus crackdown is coming in Pennsylvania due to an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Gov. Tom Wolf announced a slew of new statewide restrictions that are set to begin at midnight Saturday and run through Jan. 4.

Among the restrictions is a ban on indoor dining and gyms forced to close for three weeks. Without a new stimulus package, the new restrictions are another devastating blow to already struggling businesses.

At the LA Fitness in Bala Cynwyd, multiple people rushed into the gym to get their last-minute workouts in before it’s prohibited starting on Saturday. It’s not just gyms that are being affected.

Indoor dining and heading out to the theater will be a thing of the past as well, at least until the New Year. It’s been a devastating year for many businesses, but especially the service industry.

Philadelphia recently tightened its restrictions a few weeks ago and people outside of the city did have some concerns that they could be next.

That fear is now a reality for restaurants like Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in King of Prussia.

“To be 100% honest with you, I was in tears about 15 minutes ago,” Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar General Manager Paul Fogna said. “I have a staff that cares deeply about the restaurant and is invested in our restaurant. Unfortunately, most likely a lot of our hourly staff is going to have to be furloughed for the time being until we can get through these three weeks. We might be able to keep one or two on.

“It just depends, with being in a tip position, obviously, gratuities are their bread and butter and with no unemployment relief, it’s like a toss-up what’s better for them. Is unemployment better for my team or is keeping a few of them and trying to maximize our dollars here better for them?”

A lot of these workers will be furloughed right before the holidays, and some Christmases may not be as bring for many families this year.


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Kimberly Davis