The city’s health department announced that Philadelphia restaurants would be allowed to increase their indoor eating capacity if they passed the air ventilation test.
Indoor capabilities are currently capped at 25 percent, but will expand to 50 percent starting Friday, as long as restaurants can meet the department’s enhanced standards.
The agency outlined the details in a press release on Tuesday. Installations with an HVAC system or standalone ventilation unit must ensure that it is fully operational and ventilates the entire indoor dining area.
The system or ventilation unit will also have to replace the room air at least 15 times an hour. The same goes for restaurants using window fans.
Click here to read the full list of requirements.
Restaurant owners will be required to submit documentation that certifies the establishment that it meets the requirements. The health department said it would conduct inspections to ensure that the information presented was correct.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told Phil Voice that providing customers with aerial testing requirements would help restaurants “get back on their feet financially”.
“We’re trying to come to terms with that balance,” he said. “Consider what we’re doing here with these new standards, like version 1.0.”
“We’re going to learn from this,” Farley said sadly. “I’m sure there will be glitches with this, but as we learn from it, we may be able to adjust. It’s really an effort to meet business goals and the opportunity to get people back to work.” is.”
Erin Wallace, who owns the Devils’ Den in South Philadelphia, told local station WPVI-TV that meeting the requirements would be a challenge.
“I saw it today and I’m not an HVAC person. So we’re definitely going to bring someone in,” she said.
Another owner, Barry Gutin, said he would run until Friday to get his restaurant, Cuban Libre restaurant and rum bar, open.
“We put in disinfection of the airplane, which uses UVC lighting to kill viruses and any other bacteria in the ductwork,” he told the news station. “But even at 50 percent, it’s hard to make a living. In fact, you lose money, but we lose less.”