Philadelphia is allowing for more people to eat indoors, more people to gather outside and for catered weddings to return as COVID-19 cases slow and more vaccines go into arms.
On Tuesday, Dr. Thomas Farley announced that starting on Friday, May 7, indoor dining capacity in Philadelphia restaurants can expand to 50% for all eateries and 75% for those businesses that meet "enhanced ventilation standards." Currently indoor dinning is capped at 25% and 50%.
Indoor table sizes also will expand from four to six people. And, those people don't need to be from the same household. Restaurants must still place tables 6 feet apart.
Outdoors, up to 10 people can sit at the same table as of May 7.
Starting on May 7, the city will also begin to allow for indoor catered social events such as weddings.
Indoor catered social events -- including alcohol service and dancing -- can have up to 75 people (including staff) or 25% capacity. If cases continue to fall, the cap will go up to 150 people as of May 21.
People will continue to need to wear masks outside of when they are eating, Farley said.
Farley continued to urge people to have social events outdoors whenever possible.
Farley said the new standards get the city closer to the rest of Pennsylvania. To meet the state standards, the city will move the cap on indoor gatherings to 25% and outdoor gatherings to 50% on May 7.
Farley suggested that anyone holding a wedding or another event encourage their guests to get fully vaccinated ahead of the event.
The expansion of COVID vaccines are contributing to the city relaxing coronavirus restrictions.
To date around 34% of adults in Philadelphia are fully vaccinated.
"We are clearly making great progress there," Farley said.
"There's no excuses... it's never been easier," Farley said.
The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine will also resume at the FEMA mass vaccine site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Saturday, Farley said. The site will also continue to offer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
Cases have also appeared to have started to decline, Farley said while noting that the weekly average of PCR cases is down from the week before. The rate of positivity is below 6%.