Governor with the accordance of the mayor announce dialed back COVID-19 restrictions for the City of Brotherly Love

By Chris Schaller
July 12, 2021

Skyline of Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
photo by Bob Jones

It is official, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania loosens its COVID-19 restrictions for dining, bars and public events

Set for Easter Sunday, Mayor Jim Kenney, mayor of Philadelphia, correlating with Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order, announced that the city would loosen restrictions on public amenities, allowing an increased amount of 75% for public dining, reduced capacity for sporting events and reduced capacity for movie theaters. The curfew for alcoholic beverages were also lifted by Gov. Wolf in the most recent restrictions update. Philadelphia has the largest economy in the state of Pennsylvania and the city needs to create more revenue through its means as it is.

“I do not think Philadelphia county will be able to sustain these loosened restrictions, especially with the spread of the UK variant,” Dr. Caroline Nielsen, biology professor, said.  With Philadelphia being the most densely populated area in the state of Pennsylvania, it will be the hardest hit by the newly discovered UK variant of the coronavirus.

Restaurants and bars still have to operate under CDC guidelines and cannot open entirely at full capacity. Many people have not been out in public for over a year, and it showed with a rise in cases within the city limits. Philadelphia may have to serve as an outlier and have its own exclusive restrictions that are granted by the state. Restaurants in Philadelphia during the pandemic for the most part have had to operate only by takeout and delivery. Monetarily restaurants have suffered and are still trying to catching up to where they were before the pandemic. So increasing the capacity of public dining will be more financially beneficial for restaurants. 

Outdoor dining setup at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Renata Ty

The city of Philadelphia like many other big cities has been pummeled by the pandemic. Philadelphia has been hit hard, only due to the business regulations, casualties and minimized gatherings, but with crime and unemployment as well. The city has lost money due to the pandemic halting the normal operations of life. At the same time, the city and the state of Pennsylvania need to continue their combat against the coronavirus.

The state of Pennsylvania has continued a public mask mandate. With the recent return of fans at the Stadium Complex in South Philadelphia, there are restrictions on the capacity. The Wells Fargo Center, home to the 76ers and Flyers, is allowed to seat 5,250 fans, which follows the 25 percent capacity order. Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies can now seat 11,000 fans. Every fan entering both arenas must wear masks and have to provide a negative test result.

“It is a cause and effect scenario, a state loosen its restrictions during a pandemic, then cases will go up,” Nielsen said. Prior to April 4th, Philadelphia County had a separate restrictions guideline when compared to other counties in the state. During that time span, the city saw a steadying decrease in overall cases from the beginning of February until the end of March. Ever since the restrictions have been loosened, the city of Philadelphia has seen an increase in cases. 

As Philadelphia expands its reopening measures, there is still a pandemic. Adding onto the reopening, there is a spread of a new  COVID-19 variant. Despite the increase in vaccinations cases have been slightly trending upwards. Philadelphia might itself in a spot where they have to enforce tighter restrictions.





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Chris Schaller

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