More diners in Pennsylvania now have a chance of eating inside.   

Governor Tom Wolf has signed an order allowing restaurants again to operate at 50 percent capacity but alcohol sales must end by 11 p.m. 

Laura Stone

Restaurants in Green zones under the Commonwealth’s tri-colored reopening plan, had opened at 25-percent, then were allowed to go to 50-percent capacity before being reigned back a few weeks ago due to an increase in the infection rate. 

Restaurants in Pennsylvania that want to double their capacity from the 25-percent limit need to self-certify and complete the process by October 5th when enforcement will begin.  Restaurants that do not certify will have to remain at 25-percent capacity.

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Certified or not, the restriction on the serving of alcohol for on-site consumption to end at 11 p.m. applies to all restaurants.  There is no change in the requirement for temporary sale of cocktails-to-go and take out alcohol sales from bars, restaurants or hotels with a liquor license. 

While the hard-hit restaurant industry praises an easing of restrictions, issues are still being raised about the alcohol-service cutoff since most bars normally see the majority of their business later at night.