A press released from Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania announced September 8th, 2020 that restaurants may increase their indoor occupancy to 50 percent of occupancy (based on fire code) beginning September 21, 2020.   The press release can be read in full HERE.

Also beginning September 21, 2020, restaurants that serve alcohol will be required to end alcohol sales at 10:00 PM.

The release also provided information about the establishment of a Pennsylvania government database (Open & Certified Pennsylvania) where restaurant owners planning to expand to 50% of occupancy must self-certify they are strictly complying with public health safety guidelines and orders.

Restaurant owners seeking to expand capacity to 50% are required to complete the online self-certification process between September 21 and  October 5.

The self-certification will be used as part of the state’s enforcement efforts through the Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and will be shared with the departments of State, Labor & Industry and Health, and other enforcement agencies. Restaurants operating at 50 percent capacity will have their self-certification status checked as part of ongoing enforcement by these agencies starting on October 5.

The government database will be in the form of a searchable online database beginning September 21, 2020  and will contain the following:

  • A list of requirements contained in the current restaurant industry guidance and enforcement efforts;
  • A statement that the owner has reviewed and agrees to follow these requirements;
  • The business’ maximum indoor occupancy number based on the fire code; and
  • A statement that the owner understands that the certification is subject to penalties for unsworn falsification to authorities.

Further information and the full press release is available HERE.

Philadelphia will begin indoor dining at 25% September 8th.  It is unclear if the city will follow commonwealth and move to 50% September 21st.

We are in this together,

Brinker Simpson & Company, LLC

Disclaimer: This alert is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Information contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used as tax advice & cannot be used by the recipient to avoid penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. We strongly advise you to seek professional assistance with respect to your specific issue(s).