What you need to know about the new COVID-19 restrictions in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania COVID-19 live updates, news and information

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Saturday, December 12, 2020
New COVID restrictions take effect in Pennsylvania
The new restrictions in Pennsylvania last through January 4, 2020.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Saturday begins another version of a shutdown across the commonwealth.

The following coronavirus-related restrictions took effect on 12:01 a.m. and will last through 8 a.m. on Monday, January 4, 2021:

- Indoor dining is prohibited, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs, and private catered events. Outdoor dining, take-out food service, and take-out alcohol sales may continue.

- Indoor operations at gyms are prohibited. Outdoor facilities and classes can continue, but all participants must wear face coverings.

- No indoor gatherings of more than 10 people. Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of congregate worship are specifically excluded from the limitations, but are strongly encouraged to find alternative methods for worship.

- No outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people

- No in-person extracurricular activities allowed

- All sports at K-12 public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intermural, and intramural sports are paused.

- In-person businesses must operate at 50% capacity

- All in-person entertainment including, but not limited to, theaters, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, arcades, casinos, bowling alleys and private clubs are prohibited from operation.

But business owners say the fact these restrictions are happening around the holidays is devastating.

RELATED: Business owners turn to community for support as new Pa. restrictions take effect

Amid the new Pennsylvania restrictions, Ryan Christopher's in Narbeth, Montgomery County is depending on the community for support.

"Now we're going to have to end up putting more people on unemployment for the holidays," said Matthew Caffrey, owner of Chambers 19 Bistro and Bar in Doylestown. "It's a horrible thing and I think its totally unnecessary."

Caffrey said he's going to continue complying with the orders because he doesn't want to lose his liquor license, but he understands why some business owners won't listen this time.

State officials said the restrictions are necessary as COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania are surging with an average of more than 10,000 cases per day.

"Could we see ourselves doing it? Absolutely because if everyone did it, we'd be right along with it," said Caffrey. "For now, we'll do what were supposed to do."

State officials said the restrictions are necessary as COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania are surging with an average of more than 10,000 cases per day.

SEE ALSO: Gov. Wolf provides update on health after testing positive for COVID-19

Governor Tom Wolf announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions Thursday afternoon as the virus rages on across the commonwealth.

Bucks County and Philadelphia are seeing the most cases per capita in Pennsylvania.

"It's a shame but people have to learn and the only way its going to get better is to shut down and stay home," said Dorothea Tinari of Buckingham.

The state is also requiring indoors gyms to shut down but a Facebook post by the Newtown Athletic Club says they've had no instances of community spread and are keeping their doors open for loyal members.

At least one gym in Bucks County is vowing to remain open when the new restrictions take effect.

Locals say they understand why a business would defy orders.

"A lot of people are losing money and we don't have any stimulus checks, we don't have any support from the government," said Marc Green of Doylestown.

In-person business must operate at 50 percent capacity and all sports at K-12 schools, intramural and travel sports are paused.


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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is continuing to recover at home after testing positive for the coronavirus this week. While announcing new COVID-19 restrictions in the commonwealth on Thursday, Wolf said he first tested positive Tuesday.

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In 2016, Wolf was diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer. A year later he received a clean bill of health. Experts say his cancer should play a minor or even no role in his recovery. Dr. Alexander Kutikov, the Chief of Urologic Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, says data shows a positive outcome for the governor is high.

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