Pennsylvania eases out-of-state travel restrictions

Philadelphia will follow Pennsylvania in expanding the occupancy capacity for indoor and outdoor events.

Pennsylvania updated its COVID-19 out-of-state travel and occupancy guidelines on March 1. | JACOB COLON / FILE

Updated on March 2 at 3 p.m.

People traveling to Pennsylvania from out of state will no longer be required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health first implemented its out-of-state travel restrictions in November 2020 and chose to ease them Monday in light of the downward trend in COVID-19 cases nationwide. The department also factored national travel guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission into its decision, according to the announcement.

In the past week, Pennsylvania has reported an average of 2,612 COVID-19 cases per day, a 19 percent decrease from the average number of cases the state reported two weeks ago, the New York Times reported. Nationwide, the average number of COVID-19 cases reported per day in the past week is 67,470 cases, which is a 21 percent decrease from two weeks ago, the New York Times reported.

Temple University required all students returning to Main Campus for the Spring 2021 semester from an out-of-state location to either receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their return or quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. 

In addition to easing out-of-state travel restrictions, Wolf permitted indoor venues to host events for crowds of up to 15 percent of their maximum occupancy, regardless of the venue’s size. Outdoor venues will be permitted to host events for crowds of up to 20 percent of their maximum occupancy, regardless of the venue’s size. 

Attendees and workers at indoor and outdoor events will be expected to maintain six feet of distance from one another, wear masks and sanitize their hands, according to the announcement.

Philadelphia will adopt Pennsylvania’s new crowd size limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings, which will allow some sports fans to return to stadiums for games again, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced at a press conference Tuesday. 

Temple University is working with the state and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to determine if the new crowd size guidelines will impact the occupancy limits in place for campus spaces, wrote Raymond Betzner, a spokesperson for the university, in an email to The Temple News.

“These are very hopeful signs, and as the president said yesterday in his message, we look forward with optimism toward the future,” Betzner wrote.

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