Philly unveils new outdoor dining guidelines for winter

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia has issued new outdoor dining guidance for winter.

Michael Carroll with the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability explained the guidelines consist of two parts.

The first has to do with acceptable outdoor shelters.

"Outdoor dining can be easily approved if it consists of an overhead covering two sides of walls or less,” he said.

He said a shelter enclosed by three or more walls and a roof would be subject to indoor dining health requirements.

"The key here is, as I'm told, what is called 'fresh air exchange,' " he added.

The other part of the winter dining guidelines has to do with heaters.

Electric, propane or natural gas heaters manufactured for outdoor use are authorized in outdoor dining areas, but they have to be installed safely and properly.

And while Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said outdoor dining is safer than indoor dining, he also reminded people that dining outdoors is not without risk.

"When people get together not wearing masks, there's definitely a risk of spread from one person to another. So people need to take that into account and follow all the other safety precautions,” Farley said.