Update on Indoor Dining in Philadelphia

Tue., September 1, 2020 City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia announced that indoor dining would be permitted to resume effective September 8, 2020. Indoor dining will be permitted under specific restrictions that are largely consistent with indoor dining restrictions statewide.


· Restaurants cannot be filled to more than 25 percent capacity.

· No more than four diners per table.

· Tables must be arranged so that diners at separate tables are at least six feet apart or have an impermeable barrier between them.

· Servers must wear both masks and face shields for additional protection.

· No bar service. Alcohol can be served only for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.

· Last call for all indoor dining orders will be at 11 p.m. and establishments will be required to be closed for service by midnight.

· Restaurants must install physical barriers such as sneeze guards or partitions in restaurant kitchens and at cash registers, host stands, and food pick up areas where maintaining physical distance of at least six feet is difficult.

· Restaurants must screen every employee 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.

Restaurant owners are also urged to increase ventilation in their establishments to further decrease the risk of transmission.

If businesses do not follow the restrictions, the City may be forced to roll back restaurant dining. Businesses that continually violate the health guidance can be reported to Philly 311 (by calling 3-1-1 or 215-686-8686, using the app, or submitting online).

The City also announced that it will continue monitoring cases between now and September 8, and should we witness an increase in the rate of COVID-19 case counts in Philadelphia, we may reconsider whether this change is still viable.

· Outdoor dining can continue under current restrictions, including having no more than 50 people outside.

· The full list of restrictions for restaurants and food trucks is available on the City’s reopening guidance page.

· If you have questions, contact the Office of Business Services at 215-683-2100 or via email at business@phila.gov.


As of August 20, the City is allowing these venues to reopen with restrictions:

· Bowling alleys

· Arcades

· Game spaces (ax throwing, mini-golf, pool, ping pong, escape rooms, and other indoor game facilities)

On September 8, additional restrictions will be lifted. In addition to indoor dining, the City will allow:

· Indoor gatherings of up to 25 people

· Movie theaters

All of these venues will need to prohibit food and drink on site in order to open. Guidance for these establishments will be posted to phila.gov/reopen.


Businesses without existing permits can apply for outdoor dining options previously announced in June. Registration and approval is required for outdoor dining prior to opening. Applications can be found on this page in the “Entertainment/Travel and Restaurants” section.


· Businesses are encouraged to reopen with care by following the City’s 8-point Safety Checklist to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

· As businesses reopen, they are encouraged to download, print, and hang these informational posters.

· Recommendations for different types of businesses and activities are detailed in a separate set of industry-specific guidelines available here.

· Business owners should require sick staff to stay home. Learn more about Philadelphia’s sick leave policies here.


Sign up for our Newsletter