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Reopening Philadelphia: What Moving To The Yellow Phase Means For City, Southeastern Pennsylvania Counties

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The stay-at-home order has been lifted in Philadelphia and surrounding counties. After more than two months, the region is now in the yellow phase of recovery.

The yellow phase is meant to jump-start the economy with health and safety in mind.

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Here is what it means for businesses and their customers:

  • Telework must continue where feasible.
  • Childcare may reopen, but schools will remain closed for in-person instruction.
  • In-person retail is allowed, but curbside and delivery are preferred.
  • Gyms, spas, hair and nail salons, entertainment venues, including casinos and theatres, will all remain closed.

While supermarkets have always remained essential, but now when customers walk into a lot, some of their favorite stores are back open.

"I'm excited because it been so long since I've sat down in a restaurant," Anaiyah Arnold, of Northeast Philadelphia, said. "It's been so long so I can't wait."

Arnold won't be able to sit inside, but catching up over food or drinks at restaurants and bars with outdoor seating can happen.

"I'm definitely looking forward to restaurants and bars," Ari Stone said.

As for businesses that can restart their in-person operations, they must follow strict safety orders. You'll see employees wearing masks, glass dividers in businesses and social distancing guidelines in place.

What Can You Do In Each Phase Of Pennsylvania's Reopening Plan?

About half of the counties in Pennsylvania are still partially shutdown with 33 in the yellow phase and 34 in the green. The hope is that all 67 will be fully open sooner than later.

"It's like we're still on lockdown, but we're not on lockdown," Tayana Thomas, of South Philadelphia, said. "It's confusing."

Philadelphia and its surrounding counties were the last in the state to join the yellow phase, but health experts are confident in that decision after tracking a drastic drop in the region's positive coronavirus cases in the past few weeks.

Philadelphia, though, is taking an even more measured approach to reopening. Unlike the state, the city is not yet recommending gatherings of 25 people, and even though allowed by the state, the city of Philadelphia will not allow outdoor dining just yet.

That process was actually delayed by recent protests.

"Given the events of the past week, our team has been delayed in finalizing guidance for outdoor dining in Philadelphia," City Managing Director Brian Abernathy said. "Instead, we intend to allow outdoor dining to resume for businesses existing outdoor seating, beginning next Friday, June 12."

CBS3's Jan Carabeo and Alecia Reid contributed to this report.

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