City of Philadelphia to allow catered indoor events, increase restaurant and gathering capacity in May

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia officials announced on Tuesday that indoor catered events - including weddings - will soon be allowed, and capacity limits will be increased for restaurants and gatherings in the city.

The following will go into effect on May 7:

RESTAURANTS

Indoor seating:

-All restaurants will be allowed 50% capacity

-Restaurants that meet the city's enhanced ventilation standards can increase to 75%

-Table size increases to 6 people with no requirement diners are from the same household

-Must maintain six feet of distance "chairback to chairback."

Outdoor seating:

-Table size can increase to 10 people

CATERED INDOOR EVENTS

-Allowed to start on May 7 after being banned for more than a year

-Venues allowed 25% occupancy of the space

-Cap of no more than 75 people including staff

-If case rates continue to fall, the limit will increase to 150 people including staff on May 21.

OTHER GATHERINGS AND EVENTS

-Will be in line with Pennsylvania standards

-Increase capacity to 25% capacity indoors

-Increase capacity to 50% capacity outdoors



We found some people who were happy to hear the news.

"I definitely think it's about time now," said Annette Horovits of Long Branch, New Jersey.

"Totally thrilled, because we're in the suburbs so we've had it relaxed a little bit sooner than that, and always coming into Philly and having the restrictions has been - it's just been hard," said Lee Seaman of Swarthmore.

Seaman says with prom season right around the corner the timing couldn't be better.

"I happen to be planning a prom right now," she said. "You shouldn't take that stuff away from people, and I'm hoping all the people who got married in the past get to have those celebrations."

Farley said the loosening of these restrictions is coming as more people are getting vaccinated.

"A strong recommendation: anyone participating in these higher risk or higher density events should be vaccinated first," he said. "The reason is that there are still plenty of people in Philadelphia carrying this virus."
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