Entertainment venues and gyms will be allowed to reopen and extracurricular activities may resume.By Chris Hoffman

HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the temporary COVID-19 restrictions in Pennsylvania will expire at 8 a.m. on Jan. 4.

“So I am announcing today that the time-limited mitigation orders that went into effect on Dec. 12 will expire as planned on Jan. 4 at 8 a.m. That includes 10 person indoor, 25 person outdoor gathering limits, it includes the ban on indoor operations at restaurants and bars and gyms and entertainment venues and the suspension of extracurricular activities,” Wolf said.

In an official release, the Governor’s Office said that the temporary mitigation orders had helped to “flatten” rising coronavirus case numbers and deaths in the post-Thanksgiving surge.

The only mitigation orders that are expiring are the ones that were put in place on Dec. 12.

Here is a full list from the Governor’s Office of the establishments affected and the restrictions that are still in place:

  • Child care may open, complying with guidance
  • Congregate care restrictions in place
  • Prison and hospital restrictions determined by individual facilities
  • Schools subject to CDC and commonwealth guidance.
  • Telework must continue unless impossible
  • Businesses with in-person operations must follow updated business and building safety requirements
  • Masks are required in businesses
  • All in-person businesses may operate at 75% occupancy, except where noted
  • Self-certified restaurants may open at 50% capacity for indoor dining; Restaurants that have not self-certified are at 25% capacity for indoor dining,
  • On-premises alcohol consumption prohibited unless part of a meal; cocktails-to-go and carryout beverages are allowed
  • Serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end at 11 p.m., and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight
  • Personal care services (including hair salons and barbershops) open at 50% occupancy and by appointment only
  • Indoor recreation and health facilities (such as gyms and spas) open at 50% occupancy with appointments strongly encouraged; fitness facilities directed to prioritize outdoor activities.
  • All entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and museums) open at 50% occupancy.
  • Construction at full capacity with continued implementation of protocol.
  • Hospitals are still being monitored to determine if elective procedure reductions should be ordered regionally.
  • The out-of-state testing requirement is still in place.
  • Local governments may still have more strict guidance in place.
  • Gatherings limits determined using maximum occupancy calculator.
  • Face coverings are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.
  • Unnecessary travel should be limited.

For nearly three weeks, temporary restrictions have been in place statewide, including a ban on indoor dining.

“For the past three weeks, Pennsylvania’s hospitality industry, employees, and related businesses have been devastated by another unilateral and unwarranted shutdown from Gov. Wolf. Our state deserves better and Pennsylvanians should not have to live in fear of another unexpected and ill-advised shutdown,” said Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus Spokesperson Jason Gottesman. “When we return to session next week, the House Republican Caucus will begin work on an economic recovery plan for all Pennsylvanians that will help ensure these destructive shutdowns and restrictions never happen again.”

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“While this is positive news for establishments across the state, unfortunately the lingering impact on both businesses and employees will be felt as we move into 2021,” said Chuck Moran, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. “Businesses lost a key time of the year, while many bartenders and servers missed out on usually very generous tips during the holiday season.”

Moran is asking for Governor Wolf to lift the restriction on bar top seating, provided that restaurants and bars follow social distancing guidelines with bar top seating. He says that this will help bars especially since they have little if any table seating for patrons.

Live! Casino announced today it would be reopening its facilities at 8:01 a.m. Jan. 4. Other establishments are expected to make announcements.

Stay with KDKA as we follow this developing story.