Some Philly businesses taking reservations ahead of possible ease on outdoor dining restrictions

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia is now allowing walk-up ordering at restaurants and food trucks to resume.

"As we continue to prepare for a phased reopening, with the expectation that our region will move to yellow on June 5, there are some steps we can take now to begin easing restrictions while we remain in red status," Mayor Jim Kenney said Tuesday.

This order expanding walk-up ordering at food service businesses goes into effect immediately.

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Mayor Kenney announces that walk-up ordering at food service businesses in Philadelphia is now allowed.



Kenney's order is subject to social distancing requirements.



Face coverings are required for all times during walk-up ordering.

Restaurants cannot permit lines of more than 10 customers to form in or around their business, Kenney said.

Dine-in service is still not allowed.

Some restaurants are hoping outdoor dining could be an option, too, and are already preparing.



"We decided to open our reservations for outdoor dining at both Morgan's Pier and Harper's Garden for the entire summer starting today," said Avram Hornik, owner of Morgan's Pier.

Reservations would be done in time blocks, with a lower than normal occupancy. Patrons would be 6 feet apart, while staff would wear masks.

"We're finally starting to see things open up and ease and those Zoom happy hours that you have with your friends. You can now say, 'Hey, let's put a date on the books,'" said Hornik.



Kenney's order also includes relaxations on certain restrictions for construction and real estate activity.

The scope of the city's April 29 Construction Authorization Order will be revised to allow construction under building permits issued after March 20.

"Philadelphia's order has been updated to reflect Governor Tom Wolf's determination on May 19 that businesses in the real estate industry can generally begin to operate throughout the state, as long as guidance to reduce risks in connection with such operations is followed," Kenney said.

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Expanded Testing Standards

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is recommending COVID-19 coronavirus testing for anyone, regardless of age, who meets this criteria:

- Known or suspected exposure within the last seven days.
- A new cough, new shortness of breath, or two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, new loss of taste or smell.

Officials said the expansion of testing recommendations comes as a result of the increasing availability of coronavirus testing at public health and commercial laboratories.

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Cases

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health today announced 97 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 21,738. Today's totals may be indicative of delayed reporting over the holiday weekend.

The Department of Public Health noted continued progress in congregate settings, including nursing homes and the Department of Prisons. No additional incarcerated individuals have tested positive. The current total of positive cases at correctional facilities is two. Current and cumulative totals of positive cases in Philadelphia prisons are now posted on the testing and data page of the City's COVID-19 website.

The Department of Public Health confirmed eight additional fatalities in Philadelphia. This brings the number of residents who have succumbed to the virus in Philadelphia to 1,243. Of the 1,243 total deaths, 662 (53%) were long-term care facility residents.

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