Pennsylvania

What Can You Do in Red, Yellow or Green Phase? A Guide to Pa.’s Color-Coded Reopening

You'll need to wait for the green phase to go back to the salon or barber

In Pennsylvania, three colors have become shorthand for whether you can go to a mall, get a haircut or commute to work.

Gov. Tom Wolf's color-coded reopening plan announced in April broke up all the state's counties into three statuses: red, the most restrictive status, which includes a stay-at-home order; yellow, which allows for many businesses to reopen but asks for continued social distancing and aggressive limitations; and green, in which almost all limitations are lifted.

Friday, Wolf announced that all of the state's counties would move to either green or yellow phases by June 5.

Here's more detail on each of those statuses:

Red Phase

  • Only life-sustaining businesses, such as grocery and drug stores, may be open in person, unless allowed by the governor's office.
  • Residents told to stay at home. Large gatherings are prohibited, and travel is limited to "life-sustaining" purposes.
  • Restaurants are limited to carryout food.
  • Schools cannot have in-person instruction.
  • Child care is closed except when needed for essential workers.

Yellow Phase

  • Businesses can reopen in person, but must follow safety procedures. Employees should telework when possible.
  • In-person retail is allowed, but curbside pickup or delivery is preferred.
  • Outdoor dining is allowed at restaurants, provided they comply with state regulations on service and customer limits.
  • Hairdressers, nail salons and massage therapists must remain closed.
  • The 'stay at home" orders will be lifted, but precautions including social distancing and wearing a mask are still recommended.
  • Large gatherings remain prohibited, but ones under 25 are allowed.
  • Child care, including summer camps, may reopen with a written plan for worker and client safety. Youth, club and rec team sports remain prohibited.
  • Schools remain closed to in-person instruction.
  • Gyms, theaters, casinos, entertainment venues stay closed.
  • Professional sports teams can begin practicing and holding games again, though a reopening plan must be submitted to and approved by the state.

Green Phase

  • Businesses may resume operations, though they must continue to follow CDC and Pa. Department of Health guidelines.
  • Yes, you can finally get a haircut.
  • Indoor dining is available, but at limited customer capacity.
  • Youth, club and rec sports resume.
  • People are also asked to follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines.
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