While the city’s restaurants and gyms are preparing to stop, some business owners are taking the matter to court. A lawsuit has been filed against the city of Philadelphia and its mayor before new restrictions on COVID-19.
The following restrictions will take effect for Philadelphia on Friday, November 20 at 5:00 PM and will last until January 1, 2021:
* It is forbidden to eat indoors
* Outdoor dining is allowed, but requires parties to be for households only
* Maximum table size of four seats
* Delivery and delivery service may continue
* Prohibited indoors of any size and in any place
* Includes both public and private events
* For example: Indoor parties, group meals, football groups, visits between households, weddings, funerals, baby showers
* Collections are limited to 1
* Limit for large spaces with no more than 2000 people
* No fans of football matches
* Masks must be worn at all times
* No food or drink is served at outdoor gatherings to ensure people can wear masks
* Allow a reduced density limit of five people per 1000 square meters
* Application of the use of the mask by customers and employees
* Employees should work from home unless possible
SPORTS (youth, school and community)
CLOSURE OF BUSINESS AND ACTIVITY
* Theaters, including cinemas and other performance spaces
* Bowling alleys, arcades and play areas
* Libraries. (Those that serve as access centers may continue to operate. The services of dropping and removing curbs for patrons are allowed)
* Entertainment and sports for young people, community groups and schools
* Gyms and indoor activities. (Groups and exercises can continue outdoors)
* Daily services for adults (centers for adults and day centers for adults) remain closed
CHANGES IN BUSINESS AND ACTIVITY
* Barbershops, beauty salons and similar personal services may continue to operate, but all staff and customers must wear masks at all times. These companies cannot work on the face or otherwise perform services that require the masks to be removed
* Zoos can only operate in their open areas
* Parks, trails, playgrounds and sports grounds will remain open for individual use only. (No group sports)
* Colleges and universities: online classes only (Sports colleges can continue if their plan is explicitly approved by the Ministry of Public Health and there are no spectators)
* High schools: online classes only
* Primary and Secondary Schools: Permitted Personally, Following the Philadelphia Public Health Safety Guide
* Child Care, Early Childhood Education Centers, and Access Centers: Allowed in person following the Philadelphia Public Health Safety Guide
* No more than five percent occupancy or five per thousand square meters
* Encouraged to conduct services online
PERMITTED TO CONTINUE WHEN HEALTH COMMUNICATION. MANUAL
* Grocery stores and farmers’ markets
* Home construction, renovation, repair and maintenance
* Production and storage
* Real estate transactions and transactions
* Health care
* Home support services, such as home health services
* Taxis and shared travel services
* Outdoor mobile carts and food trucks
* Events where people stay in their vehicles
* Day care for children and early learning centers
* Primary and secondary schools
* Access centers for children in primary and secondary schools
Restaurant staff face difficult decisions
Attorney Brian Fritz represents the Philadelphia Restaurant Owners Group Against Blockade. He is seeking an urgent order to ban the shutdown of indoor restaurants.
“We have no reports or research on how restaurants are in any way related to any infections. How is dinner at a restaurant in Philadelphia more dangerous than visiting Lowe’s, Walmart, Wawa or the city’s Christmas village?” Fritz said.
Business owners say they should be able to work with the safety measures introduced in July, when many spring restrictions were lifted.
The lawsuit alleges that the city’s restrictions on safer indoor dining are unconstitutional. (Read the trial HERE.)
WATCH: Fears of a large financial impact from the limitations of Philly COVID
Lane Bradley, a 21-year-old server at Trademans Bar & Restaurant, is trying to make ends meet while working to graduate from college in May. She and others in the industry are facing greater financial uncertainty as the new restrictions take effect.
“Debt will accumulate a little and it will definitely be stressful if you don’t know where your next source of income will come from,” Bradley said.
“It’s very stressful. I mean, we have lives, some of us have kids, some of us are still studying, so it’s really unfortunate,” said bartender Amanda Negri.
Jen Camela, general manager of Forsythia in block 200 on Chestnut Street, said many restaurants are forced to make difficult decisions about their employees.
WATCH: Philadelphia restaurants and gyms try to get it to work in light of new constraints
“People who were lucky enough to come back have to bring them home again, so I think that’s the hardest part,” Camela said.
Gyms for the impact of the shutdown
Gyms also suffer a huge blow when new restrictions in the city take effect.
Stephen Kindler, president and CEO of a group of franchises at Planet Fitness, said closing gyms made no sense, adding that there was no evidence of high transmission.
“I have four franchises within a mile of the NoveCare complex – the fact that the Eagles can handle it and the citizens of the city can’t, it’s a hard pill to swallow,” Kindler said.
Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s best health official, defended the city’s decision, saying it was now the most risky time to transmit the virus.
“What was safe now is dangerous with the change of weather. Many companies believe that they have put in place safety measures, they are sure that they are there, and I am sure that there is no spread and that is true in many places. “Remember that there are more people than ever with the virus,” Farley said.
City officials said dramatic action was needed to respond to the exponential growth of cases and hospitalizations.
On Thursday, health officials announced 765 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. This increases the number of confirmed cases to 57,237.
The death toll from the virus in Philadelphia is 1,945.
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