PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Representatives in Philadelphia on Monday announced major restrictions on restaurants and businesses in the city as coronavirus cases increase. From Friday, indoor dinner will be banned and gyms and museums will be closed.
City officials acknowledge that businesses will be closed and jobs will be lost due to the new restrictions, but say they are needed to save lives.
“We need to take action now,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told a news conference Monday afternoon.
All public and private indoor gatherings in Philadelphia are restricted.
“Please stay home, as far away from others as possible,”
Philadelphia officials have unveiled new major restrictions to stem the growing number of COVID cases.
“We don’t take any of this lightly and believe me, more than anything in the world, I wish none of this was necessary, but there is no doubt that these changes are necessary,” said Mayor Jim Kenny.
From Friday, November 20, the city will ban:
- youth and community sports
Indoor dining in restaurants will be banned and outdoor eating will be limited to only four members of the household.
“To prevent this virus from spreading from one household to another and for people to mix without masks from different households, the virus does just that,” Farley said. “We can’t impose this, but we ask residents and restaurants: please, people who eat outdoors without masks should only be there with their household members.”
The others open with limits include:
- barbershops and salons
- religious facilities.
People have to work from home unless that is not possible.
“This will help alleviate the potential burden on our hospitals, help slow the spread of the virus and, most importantly, save lives,” Kenny said.
With schools, colleges and high schools can only be online – without personal classes. However, primary and secondary schools will have the right to remain open, along with kindergartens.
“Children almost never get seriously ill with COVID, and children’s education is crucial for the future,” Farley said.
The new restrictions will apply for six weeks in the new year.
“I know these restrictions are strict, people will be left jobless, and some businesses may drop out, but we also know that the health consequences of not doing so are really bad,” Farley said. “And if we do the right thing, our business will recover faster, because the epidemic wave will subside sooner.”
Farley also called on the counties of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to join Philadelphia in taking such measures, noting that there is a lot of movement in the region and it is difficult to contain the virus without more uniform precautions.
For a full list of new restrictions, click here.
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