CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (CBS) — The owners of restaurants and gyms in the commonwealth are reacting to the new restrictions. Employees and customers are also affected by the closures that many say were expected due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Eyewitness News found Pennsylvanians spending their Thursday evening enjoying indoor dining and others rushing to break a sweat at the gym. It may pick up even more on Friday because it will all come to an end in the commonwealth beginning on Saturday for at least three weeks.

“I don’t understand it. I think gyms should be essential,” Benjamin Ehrlich, of Philadelphia, said.

It’s Round 2 for Pennsylvania residents. On Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced tighter restrictions would be implemented in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Indoor dining will be prohibited while theaters and gyms will be shut down until at least Jan. 4.

“I’m a little disappointed, but I do have equipment at my house,” Andrew Zalles, who lives in Manayunk, said. “You’ve just got to make the best of the situation.”

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It’s been a devastating year for most businesses, but especially the service industry.

Employees at Flanigan’s Boathouse, a restaurant in Conshohocken, are choosing to be positive.

“Everybody’s prepared,” manager Rachael Morrison said. “We’re all one big happy family here, so we all know what we have to do to get through this next couple of weeks.”

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

“We knew what was coming down the pike,” Morrison said. “We’ve been working really hard to expand our delivery area.”

It’s a reality that thousands across Pennsylvania are working through, and many in the service industry are hoping their efforts aren’t in vain.

“It does hurt us, the restaurant business as a whole,” Morrison said, “but I’m hoping there’s a reason behind it, and I’m hoping we can all get through this as fast as possible.”

The Wolf administration says this decision was data-driven. Indoor gatherings may not exceed 10 people and 50 people for outdoor events.


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