PA Officials Announce Stricter Coronavirus Restrictions: ‘Law Enforcement Will Be Stepping Up’

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine listening to Pennsylvania Governor Tom
Office of Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania officials announced a series of additional coronavirus restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving, including the one-night suspension of alcohol sales. They are also urging residents to avoid travel and to only gather with people who reside in their respective households.

“Today I’m announcing efforts to slow the spread of #COVID19 as cases reach critical levels,” Wolf announced.

“They include a recommitment to school safety, protections for businesses and employees, reduced gatherings, enforcement for mask wearing, and an advisory encouraging PA’ians to stay home,” he said and continued:

Under the newly announced restrictions, bars and restaurants will be prohibited from selling alcohol for on-site consumption the night before Thanksgiving. It goes effect at 5:00 p.m. and ends the following day at 8:00 a.m. Additionally, all indoor and outdoor events and gatherings limits have been reduced. Per the restrictions, any indoor event that can hold 0 – 2,000 people will be reduced to 10 percent of its capacity, maximum.

Wolf’s administration is also urging residents to stay home and refrain from holding gatherings in their private residences with people outside of their immediate household.

“Household gatherings are also advised against when attendees include non-household members as noted through the Secretary of Health’s Stay at Home Advisory,” a Monday press release read.

The press release adds that the orders are “enforceable” and announced that law enforcement and state agencies “will be stepping up enforcement efforts, issuing citations and fines, and possibly regulatory actions for repeat offenders.”

The release states:

Given that this is a critical time for mitigation efforts and orders to be followed, the Wolf Administration is stepping up enforcement on the following orders:

  • Out of State Travel
  • Mask-wearing
  • Business Safety, including telework, occupancy, cleaning, social distancing
  • Restaurant Mitigation, including occupancy, masking, social distancing, self-certification
  • Gathering Limits
  • School Attestation and Mitigation

Wolf repeated that sentiment in a tweet detailing the restrictions:

According to the governor’s office, those who fail to heed the restrictions could face a fine between $25 and $300.

“As Pennsylvanians, we have a responsibility to one another, to do what we can to protect each other and preserve the life we all love in this commonwealth,” Wolf said in a statement.

“For those who refuse to do their part to protect their neighbors and communities and refuse to accept that their actions have consequences that cause pain and suffering for others, we will be stepping up enforcement of all of the public health orders Dr. Levine and I have put in place,” he warned.

Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s transgender Health Secretary, also said the orders will be enforced, repeating the warning in Monday’s press release.

“Orders already in place and those announced today will be enforced, and law enforcement and state agencies will be stepping up enforcement efforts, issuing citations and fines and possible regulatory actions for repeat offenders,” Levine stated.

The updated restrictions come on the heels of the Wolf administration’s efforts to ramp up mask enforcement, instructing residents to wear a mask in most instances, including when visiting another individual’s private residence.

Other Democrat governors have instituted strict coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Some law enforcement officers in both states have signaled that they will not enforce their edicts, particularly the restrictions limiting gatherings in private homes.


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