The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Indoor and outdoor dining and walk-up ordering at restaurants and mobile food vendors, including food trucks, are permitted, provided that: (i) all applicable health and safety requirements and guidance are followed, including but not limited to physical distancing and mandatory masking for employees and customers; (ii) and all applicable regulatory requirements are met, including but not limited to licensing and permitting requirements.
In particular, restaurants must follow requirements in PA Guidance for Businesses in the Restaurant Industry Permitted to Operate during the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency. Businesses must obtain any permits or other authorization, as required, to serve food and beverages outside of physical indoor service areas.
- Require all employees and customers to mask while on site, regardless of vaccination status, except while:
- Customers are eating and drinking while seated at a table.
- Employees are eating or drinking during break times. Employees should be seated at least 3 feet from others when taking off their mask.
- Provide masks for employees.
- Indoor wait staff should wear face shields and/or goggles, as well as a mask.
- Screen employees for symptoms before every shift and prevent them from remaining on site if they have cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, or new loss of taste or smell.
- It is not necessary to conduct on site temperature measurement for staff or customers. If you measure temperatures, use a no-touch thermometer, and do not allow anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher to remain on site.
- Share information with staff about the location of free COVID-19 test sites.
- Before allowing entrance to a dining area, ask customers if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days. See CDC quarantine guidance for more information.
- Have sick leave policies in place so that employees excluded from the workplace do not lose earnings.
- If an employee develops COVID-19 infection or has a positive test, businesses and other organizations must take additional precautions to stop the virus from spreading further.
- Distancing is still recommended. Encourage customers to maintain 3 feet of distance between themselves and others outside of their group.
- Adjust work assignments to ensure employees can stay at least 3 feet from each other throughout their shifts.
- Establish procedures to prevent crowding among persons waiting to enter the establishment.
- Consider the use of distance markers, such as sidewalk decals, chalked or painted circles, or other visual cues to encourage members/clients to stay at least 3 feet apart.
- Establishments are required to be closed for service by midnight. Last call for dining orders is at 11 pm.
- If live entertainment occurs in a restaurant, follow the Indoor live theater, music venue, and movie theater guidance.
- For offices within the venue space, use Office guidance.
- Ensure that all staff wash hands on arrival and in accordance with pre-existing food safety regulations (e.g. before, during, and after preparing food; after touching garbage).
- Place hand sanitizer near payment counter and make handwashing facilities available to all patrons at outdoor dining sites.
- Place handwashing stations or hand sanitizer at entry and outside communal bathrooms for all staff and patrons with prominent signage promoting use.
- Continue to follow all Department of Public Health Food safety regulations.
- Clean high-touch areas with disinfectant regularly. See current CDC guidelines for more details.
- If possible, increase ventilation in the building by either:
- Opening windows and/or doors on opposite sides of the building and using fans to blow outside air through the building, OR
- Optimizing ventilation provided by the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system by:
- Having the HVAC system checked to assure that it is working properly. If it can be adjusted, the system should be set to provide at least 6 air exchanges per hour.
- Maximizing the amount of outside air circulated by the system.
- Installing filters with minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) of the highest value compatible with filter rack.
- Educate staff about symptoms and prevention of COVID-19.
- Remind staff who are sick or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days to stay home and follow CDC quarantine guidelines. Staff without any symptoms may end their quarantine period after:
- Day 10 without testing, OR
- Day 7 after receiving a negative test result (lab-based or rapid) after day 5.
- Staff who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine when exposed to someone with COVID-19 if they meet the following criteria:
- They are fully vaccinated, and it’s been at least 2 weeks after the last dose in the vaccine series.
- They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
- Vaccination is not 100% effective.
- Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should get tested.
- Anyone who is positive for COVID-19 must isolate according to CDC guidelines.
- After vaccination you must still wear a mask, keep your distance, and avoid crowds.
- Encourage customers to download and turn on the PA exposure notification app COVID Alert PA to help with contact tracing.
- Post prominent signs at entrances and in employee break rooms:
- Encouraging all staff and visitors to wear masks.
- Encouraging physical distancing of at least 3 feet.
- Encouraging people to cover coughs or sneezes.
- Enhanced Ventilation Standards for Indoor Dining / Application Form for Increased Dining Capacity (PDF)
- Worksheet to calculate air changes per hour (Excel)
- Order of the Secretary of Health Directing Building Safety Measures
- Order of the Secretary of Health Directing Public Health Safety Measures
- Guidance to calculate your isolation and quarantine (PDF)
- Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
- Call (800) 722-7112 to speak to a health care professional on the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.