PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pennsylvania’s temporary COVID-19 restrictions expired Monday morning, allowing some businesses to reopen and restaurants to resume indoor dining.

Places like gyms and restaurants have been counting down to being able to open their doors again. Restaurants have been closed for indoor dining and forced to do takeout-only since Dec. 12.

Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said the restrictions helped to flatten the curve across the state following the post-Thanksgiving surge in Coronavirus cases.

For restaurants, they can now have 50% capacity for indoor dining if they are self-certified. If they are not self-certified, they can only have 25% capacity.


Some restaurants in the area had defied the order over the past three weeks. Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen says legal action may be taken against them.

According to KDKA’s news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, some restaurants will stay doing only takeout because January is not a busy time of year for dining in.

As for gyms and fitness centers, they’re opening at 50% capacity as people are starting their New Year’s resolutions to work out more. For many people, it was the chance to get in that morning workout.

“I woke up and I was like, ‘I should just drink coffee and watch the news,’ but I got myself dressed and it feels amazing to be back,” Kristi Lisbon said after her workout class.

The governor’s temporary mitigation efforts expired at 8 a.m. Monday.

“It’s really good to see that we can come back in and pick up where we left off and keep grinding,” Mecka Fitness coach Dylan Snyder said.

While away for that time, members of Mecka Fitness rented equipment and were sent emails to get their workouts in over the holidays.

“It was great to get a workout back in again. It’s good to start the new year on a fresh routine,” Lisbon said.

Some of the safety measures inside the gym include putting red-taped boxes on the floor so everyone can remain socially distant and enjoy their workout class.

“We always make sure that if you’re not comfortable, we’re going to find a way to make it comfortable for you,” Snyder said.

In addition, masks are worn and gear is sanitized to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“They have great protocol. The squares are great. You stay within your space. Everybody wears their mask. We wipe down the equipment. I feel very safe here,” Lisbon said.

The gym hopes to avoid another shutdown.

“We can adapt. That’s what we’re here to do. No matter what is thrown our way, we’re going to find a way to make it better in the end,” Snyder said.

Gyms are strongly encouraged to have their guests use appointments and prioritize outdoor activities.

As businesses are reopening, Governor Wolf is encouraging people to not let their guard down against the virus.

Only the temporary restrictions that were put in place on Dec. 12 are expiring. Previous regulations that were in place before then will remain in place. Those include:

  • 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.