What Can You Do in 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

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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.

Wolf has 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 the number of shoppers may be limited, and curbside pickup or delivery is preferred.
  • Outdoor dining is allowed at suburban restaurants, provided they comply with state regulations on service and customer limits. Buffets and salad bars are still prohibited. Though Philadelphia is expected to move to yellow June 5, the city is still prohibiting outdoor dining.
  • Schools, including colleges, elementary and secondary schools, can reopen after completing a safety plan. Masks are recommended for students, faculty and staff.
  • 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.
  • Pro sports teams are allowed to practice or play, but without fans present.
  • Child care, including summer camps, may reopen with a written plan for worker and client safety. Youth, club and rec team sports remain prohibited.
  • Gyms, theaters, casinos, entertainment venues stay closed.

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, but you'll need to make an appointment.
  • Appointments or reservations are also strongly encouraged for gyms or spas.
  • Indoor dining is available, but at limited customer capacity.
  • Youth, club and rec sports resume.
  • Any gathering of more than 250 individuals is still prohibited, including concerts, conferences, movie showings, or theater performances.
  • People are also asked to follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines.
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