We all know that Philly is a little different from the rest of Pennsylvania.  This has become even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.  So when Governor Wolf recently announced changes in limits on the numbers of persons allowed at events in Pennsylvania, it was only natural for Philadelphia to announce its own local modifications to better suit our city’s needs and challenges.

Effective Friday, October 16, 2020, event size limits for Philadelphia are as follows:

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for Indoor Events

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Indoor Rate 
0-2,000 people 10% of Maximum Occupancy
More than 2,000 people 10% of Maximum Occupancy up to 250 people
No seating or maximum undefined 10 persons per 1000 square feet up to 250 people

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for Outdoor Events

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Outdoor Rate 
0-2,000 people 20% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people 15% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people 15% of Maximum Occupancy up to 7,500 people
No seating or maximum undefined Above percentage of 67 per 1,000 square feet, up to 7,500

 

So, for Example…

  • An indoor theater with a maximum occupancy of 300 persons can have up to 30 persons (10% of 300).
  • An indoor sports arena with a maximum capacity of 10,000 can host events with a maximum of 250 persons, including sports participants and staff.
  • An outdoor stadium with a maximum capacity of 10,000 can host events with a maximum of 1,500 persons (15% of 10,000), including participants and staff.
  • An outdoor event space of 80,000 square feet but no seating can host events with 804 persons (15% x 67 per 1,000 sq. ft. x 80).

The Fine Print

  • These limits apply to events and gatherings, not the routine operations of businesses.
  • All persons present in these spaces during the events, including performers and staff, count toward these limits.
  • Venues must follow all Pennsylvania orders and guidance to protect the safety of participants.
  • Venues must also follow all Philadelphia guidance for COVID-19 safety precautions, including guidance for catered events and social gatherings.
  • Because most COVID-19 spread in Philadelphia appears to be occurring within households and at small social gatherings, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health still does not recommend that people hold social gatherings of any size.