The governor said people should still keep wearing masks, social distancing and getting the vaccine when it's their turn.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Citing falling case counts and climbing vaccination rates, Gov. Tom Wolf is loosening some restrictions on restaurants and other businesses as well as increasing gathering limits.

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Starting April 4, restaurants can resume bar service and alcohol can be bought without food. There’s also no more curfew for removing drinks from tables.

The indoor dining capacity will be raised to 75% for restaurants that undergo the self-certification process. Outdoor dining, curbside pick-up and takeout are still encouraged, and there are still requirements like mask-wearing and social distancing.

“I’m just thrilled because it’s just such a positive step in the right direction for all businesses in Pennsylvania,” said Colin Serto, the owner of Sienna Mercato.

Capacity for other businesses like personal service facilities, gyms casinos, theaters and malls will also be raised to 75% occupancy on April 4.

“Along with every other restaurant, we definitely suffered. We saw less people coming. It was tough, but we got through it and we are just ready to move on and start having more people down here,” said Serto.

When it comes to gatherings, indoor events will be allowed 25% maximum occupancy and outdoor events will be allowed 50%. That’s an uptick from the 15% indoor and 25% outdoor that the governor just implemented at the start of the month.

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Wolf’s announcement is welcomed news for wedding/event planner Caitlyn Wimer. Her company, JPC Event Group, did 60 weddings in 2020. They were supposed to do 150.

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Right now, they have 118 scheduled.

“That is very helpful,” said Wimer. “A lot of our couples are very excited about that. And a lot of people who have postponed have actually come back and asked if they could go through with their initial date, which is exciting.”

Business owner John Graf hopes his wedding venules will see a bigger boost soon.

“What we are hoping is to be ramped up to 50 percent of capacity as fast as we can,” Graf said. “And then look at the data and take it from there.”

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House Republicans in Harrisburg criticized the governor’s announcement, saying the help hasn’t come soon enough and it does not go far enough for workers and small businesses.