Saturday, November 28, 2020
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Philly Will Allow Crowds at Theatres, Sports Games Starting Oct. 16



WATCH LIVE: Philly Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley are expected to speak about the new gathering rules.

Philadelphia will change its coronavirus restrictions to allow for larger crowds at indoor and outdoor events as soon as Friday, NBC10 has learned.

The rule changes could allow for events long-postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic to take place, including weddings, concerts and sporting events.

But the venue will need to comply with safety policies and limit occupancy. Health officials have said there is less risk of virus spread outdoors – and Philly’s new rules allow for larger crowds outside than inside.

The impact on professional sports like the NFL and Philadelphia Eagles was not immediately clear Tuesday. Like any other venue, Lincoln Financial Field would have to limit occupancy and ensure fans comply with mask and distancing mandates.

In Pittsburgh Sunday, a few thousand Steelers fans were in attendance as the Eagles fell 38-29. The Eagles have a home game scheduled for Oct. 18 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Attendees must wear masks and comply with 6-foot social distancing requirements. And fixed-seat venues must tape or block off seats to prevent guests from sitting close to people from another household. In movable-seat venues, event staff should arrange the seats to keep people from different households 6 feet or more apart.

Any event staff, performers or other personnel will all count toward the occupancy limits. The limits are all percentages derived from the fire code.

For example: a hypothetical indoor theater with a maximum occupancy of 300 people could host 30 people, including performers and event staff. An indoor wedding venue with a max occupancy of 1,900 people could host 190 people under the new rules.

There are some hard limits – including a maximum of 7,500 people at very large venues.

What’s Allowed Indoors?

  • An indoor venue with a maximum occupancy under 2,000 people can fill to 10% capacity.
  • For an indoor venue that can hold more than 2,000 people, that 10% rule applies. But no event can exceed 250 people.
  • For venues that don’t have seating or a defined occupancy limit, crowds can’t exceed 250 people or 10 persons per 1,000 square feet.

What’s Allowed Outdoors?

  • Outdoor venues with a max. occupancy under 2,000 people will be allowed to host 20% of their maximum occupancy.
  • Outdoor venues that can hold 2,001-10,000 people can host 15%
  • Outdoor venues that can hold more than 10,000 people can host 15% but are capped at 7,500.
  • Other outdoor venues with no seating or no max limit must limit crowds to 67 persons per 1,000 square feet, up to 7,500 people.

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