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; KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso reports.
KYM GABLE: The governor is also expanding capacity limits that affect several industries. Our Jennifer Borrasso is live tonight. And Jen, what are you hearing? What kind of reaction are you getting from businesses tonight?
JENNIFER BORRASSO: Kym, excitement. Now, this is what restaurants have had to deal with. You've seen it all around. So this plastic covering here, outdoor tables. Now, this relief isn't coming for another three weeks. So these businesses will have to live through St. Patrick's Day celebrations and March Madness with the current status quo.
Now, starting Easter Sunday-- that is April 4-- indoor dining capacity will be increased to 75% maximum, up from 50%. Restaurants can resume bar service. They can serve drinks without food and after 11:00 PM. Outdoor dining and takeout are still encouraged. Other businesses can also move to 75% capacity, including salons, gyms, casinos, movie theaters, and malls. And indoor events can hold to 25% capacity. Outdoor events can increase to 50%.
Earlier we talked to one business owner here in Pittsburgh who is excited to see some of the restrictions lifted.
COLIN SERTO: I was thrilled because it's just such a positive step in the right direction for all businesses in Pennsylvania. Along with every other restaurant, we definitely suffered and we saw, you know, less people coming. And, you know, it was tough, but we got through it. And, you know, we're just ready to move on and start having more people down here.
JENNIFER BORRASSO: And earlier today, House Republicans criticized the governor's announcement, basically saying that the help didn't come soon enough. Reporting live, Jennifer Borrasso, KDKA News.