Philly to allow fans at sporting events, loosen dining restrictions

Retail store capacity is also expanded and indoor theaters can now serve food and drinks.

Philadelphia announced on Feb. 26 that it will loosen several COVID-19 restrictions throughout the city. | CAMILLE COLEMAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Philadelphia will loosen several COVID-19 restrictions as case numbers in the city continue to decline, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced at a press conference today.

Professional sports teams in Philadelphia will be able to host up to 2,500 fans outdoors and 500 indoors beginning March 1, Farley said. 

The announcement comes after the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers submitted proposals to the city to allow fans to return, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

Farley had previously expressed optimism that there could be fans at the Phillies home opener at Citizens Bank Park on April 1, CBS3 Philly reported.

As of today, restaurants can seat up to six guests from different households outdoors, Farley said. Indoor dining will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity for restaurants compliant with city ventilation requirements, he added.

Retail store capacity has also been increased from 10 people per 1,000 square feet to 20 people per 1000 square feet, Farley said. 

Senior centers are now open with the requirement that guests wear KN95 masks or double mask by wearing a cloth mask over a procedural mask. No more than 25 people are allowed per room, Farley said.

Indoor theaters can now hold 10 percent of their total capacity if the maximum capacity is 2,000 seats and five percent of their total capacity if the maximum capacity is between 2,000 and 10,000 seats, Farley said. Theaters can serve food and drinks, but guests are not permitted to sit in groups larger than four.

The loosening of restrictions is dependent on residents consistently wearing masks, Farley said.

“Masks are very effective at preventing this infection and if we are not wearing masks, the changes we are talking about here are not safe,” Farley said.

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