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Indoor dining to resume in Philadelphia, with limits

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CBS News Philadelphia Live

Philadelphia officials are allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining in the city after rolling back some COVID-19 restrictions. The restrictions will be lifted on Saturday, January 16.

"We will allow restaurants to provide indoor dining after that date with seating of 25% of their approved occupancy for seated dining, plus other restrictions, such as a maximum table size of four of household members only, because we don't want people mixing with other households in restaurants and passing the infection that way," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said Tuesday.

Farley said masks must be worn at all times, except when people are eating or drinking.

The city will also allow theaters to reopen at 10% capacity and students will be allowed to return to in-person classes at colleges and universities.

"It is possible we will reinstate these restrictions if the case rates rise and if we have reason to believe the virus is spreading at these sites," Farley said.

The health commissioner warned they don't want to have a repeat of what happened when college students returned to campus last fall, leading to multiple outbreaks. Dr. Farley said the city is working with colleges on preventing students from having gatherings of any size.

"The vaccine, as much as it's great that it's here, will not help us get through our winter wave," he said.

The easing of restrictions is good news for restaurants.

"With the 25%, that's a welcomed blessing for us and we're looking forward to getting back to 100%," said Jim Kirk, owner of Kite and Key, CBS Philly reports.

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