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Gov. Wolf orders restaurants in Bucks, other counties to close dine-in service

Governor Tom Wolf on Sunday ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 16, in Bucks, Allegheny, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties for 14 days to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited.

Officials said they will continue to monitor COVID-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 14 days reevaluate and decide whether continued mitigation is needed.

Many restaurants and bars in New Hope were open for business on Sunday, despite a request by state officials a day earlier to shut down.

Stella in New Hope was among the restaurants remaining open on Sunday despite a request to close by the governor.

“Ensuring the health and safety of Pennsylvanians is the highest priority as the state grapples with a growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, and as the virus continues to spread, it is in the best interest of the public to encourage social distancing by closing restaurants and bars temporarily,” Gov. Wolf said. “I understand that this is disruptive to businesses as well as patrons who just want to enjoy themselves, but in the best interest of individuals and families in the mitigation counties, we must take this step.”

Businesses that do not adhere to this order could face enforcement actions.

The administration has strongly urged non-essential businesses in the four counties to close during their county-specific mitigation periods to protect employees, customers, and suppliers and limit the spread of the virus through personal contact and surfaces. Allegheny County has adopted similar mitigation efforts.

The Department of Community and Economic Development and DOH are reaching out to businesses through a letter to provide guidance on the types of businesses that are urged to close. The letter also indicates to businesses that financial assistance opportunities are available to mitigate the financial impact of closures.

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