PA COVID restrictions: Here's what's allowed to reopen in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia officials have allowed some businesses to reopen on Monday as Governor Tom Wolf eased COVID-19 restrictions across Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said based on the data and spikes in positive cases following past holidays, the city will continue some of its current restrictions for the riskiest settings through at least January 15.

This includes restrictions on:

- Indoor dining
- Indoor gatherings and events
- Theaters
- Colleges
- Indoor organized sports

However, city officials are allowing some lower risk businesses and activities to resume Monday.

This includes:

- Museums
- Outdoor sports
- Gyms
- Some indoor entertainment facilities ( pool halls, bowling alleys, arcades, casinos)
- In-person learning for high schools
- Outdoor catered events



City officials say indoor capacity limits remain in effect. No more than five people per 1,000 square feet are allowed indoors, and all safety measures and social distancing guidance must be followed. You can read more about Philadelphia's amended restrictions, HERE.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia resumed operations Monday at 4 p.m. The casino's gaming floor will be open 24/7.

Restaurants and bars at Rivers Casino Philadelphia remain closed. All safety protocols will remain in place, including masks or approved face-coverings, temperature checks, and social distancing for guests and casino employees.

"I've talked to a lot of my clients and they're more comfortable being at home for the time being," says Noel Davis, owner of Paris Fit Studio.

SEE ALSO: Some Pa. businesses closed due to COVID-19 restrictions can now reopen
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Additional restrictions that were imposed in Pennsylvania almost three weeks ago to combat the COVID-19 pandemic expired at 8 a.m.



It's a slow rollout for Davis, who opened Paris Fit Studio last January. While gyms can reopen to in-person indoor exercise, confidence hasn't instantly or magically returned.

"I believe it's 50% of people are able to come to classes, however, because it is right after the holidays, I just want to see where the curve is," said Davis.

Museums are able to open to the public. The Betsy Ross House is reopening its doors for the first time since November. Unfortunately, the timing of the reopening couldn't be worse for tourism.

"The first closure happened in the height of the school visit season, and continued through our summer tourist season," said Linda Ackerman Moulder, director of the historic house. "Normally, we have another bump in attendance around the holidays, but we were forced to shut down again."

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia restaurants to get free COVID-19 testing for workers, families
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Restaurant workers and their families will soon have access to free COVID-19 testing.



Franklin Institute will open Wednesday. The Barnes, Art Museum and Academy of Natural Science will open Friday. On January 21, PAFA will reopen.

For restaurants, survival is the goal.

"Just recently, I've had to furlough several employees within Bar Bombón, which has been very painful," said restaurateur Nicole Marquis.

SEE ALSO: Philadelphia extends COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining, gatherings to January 15

Marquis owns Hip City Veg, Bar Bombón and Charlie was a Sinner. She's also the founder of Save Philly Restaurants.

Save Philly Restaurants has collaborated with 250+ local businesses and recently coordinated their own COVID-19 test site at The Goat on 19th and Samson streets starting Thursday.

"It's a bar that's been closed down. We have four nurse stations being set up in the space. It's free for every restaurant worker and their families," said Marquis.

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