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Oberlander: Compliance with Wolf, Levine Orders Not Sustainable for PA Bars, Restaurants
(Donna Oberlander is pictured to the right of the speaker. Photo courtesy PA State Representative Donna Oberlander.)
Owners of the state’s restaurants, bars, and taverns told members of the House Majority Policy Committee on Tuesday, July 28, the industry cannot survive the governor’s extreme COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining and bar seating.
“On July 15, the governor and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine issued a statewide order that required restaurants, bars and taverns to reduce their operations to just 25% capacity for indoor dining, while any bars or nightclubs that only serve alcoholic beverages and no food had to close completely. Restaurants are not permitted to use bar seating and drinks can only be served when customers also purchase a meal. The administration has even gone so far as to define what constitutes a meal,” explained Oberlander, State Representative for the 63rd Legislative District.
The four-hour hearing, in which Oberlander participated, featured testimony from business owners and advocates from the PA Restaurant and Lodging Association, the PA Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, and the PA Federation of Fraternal and Social Organizations.
In addition to outlining negative impacts the orders have had on their businesses, several testifiers also offered suggestions to try to help the industry through the pandemic.
It was the first in a series of hearings in which the committee plans to develop policies to help the state and various business and industry sectors recover from the impacts of COVID-19 mitigation.
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