Restaurants open for dine-in Monday, must self-certify online before opening their doors

Coronavirus

A waitperson wears a face mask while tending to a patron sitting in the outdoor patio of a sushi restaurant, late Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As of Monday, Jan. 4 restaurants may once again open at 50 percent capacity for indoor dining if they’ve completed the online self-certification process.

“Self-certifying is a simple way to promote an establishment’s commitment to its patrons’ health and safety,” Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin says. “As we enter a new year with a vaccine to contribute to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the Wolf Administration is hopeful and looking forward to supporting restaurants as much as possible in getting back to business as usual.”

All restaurants, private social clubs and food service businesses that serve dine-in, sit down food in a regular, non-event capacity is allowed to complete the self-certification process.

Alcohol sales for on-site consumption at these restaurants, private social clubs and food service businesses must end at 11-00 PM and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight.

On-premises alcohol consumption is prohibited, the only exception are if it is part of a meal, cocktails to go or a carryout beverage.

Social distancing, masking, and other mitigation measures must be employed to protect workers and patrons. 

The occurrence of regularly scheduled or complaint-based inspections from enforcement agencies will not be affected by certification status; in fact, certifying proves that a business is committed to protecting employees and providing patrons a safe dining experience.  

The Wolf Administration has released Frequently Asked Questions as a reference for restaurant owners and the public, along with updated restaurant guidance.   

Business owners with additional questions about the self-certification program can contact covidselfcert@pa.gov.    

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