Key provisions from the Governor’s July 15 Order are as follows:
25% occupancy limit. Restaurants and bars were given the green light in June to begin offering indoor dining, though they were required to operate at no more than 50% occupancy. The new rules impose a 25% occupancy limit, which includes staff members as well as patrons.
Bars must offer on-site dining. Unless selling only take-out alcohol, bars must now offer sit-down, dine-in meals.
No bar seating. Seating at a bar is not permitted, regardless of whether the bar is indoors or outdoors. All services must be offered at tables or booths.
25-person limit for indoor events. A “discrete indoor event or gathering”—meaning a private, catered event—in a bar or restaurant may include no more than 25 people.
Alcohol may only be served with food. For both restaurants and bars, alcohol may only be served for on-site consumption if it is served within the same transaction as a meal. Merely having food available is not sufficient; any patron who wishes to consume alcohol on-site must also order food.
The new guidelines do not affect restaurants’ and bars’ ability to offer take-out food or alcohol, and do not impose any occupancy restrictions for outdoor dining. Individual counties may continue to impose more stringent—though no less stringent—restrictions than the Governor’s guidelines, as Philadelphia has done by prohibiting indoor dining.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Author Patrick Murphy, Jr. is a partner in the Retail, Restaurant & Hospitality Industry Group at Klehr Harrison.