Restaurants in Pennsylvania Can Safely Increase Indoor Capacity to 50 Percent with Self-Certification   

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding reminded Pennsylvania restaurant, bar and club owners that they may increase indoor capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent through self-certification, which will increase consumer confidence but will not lead to additional inspections or penalties.

“Contrary to what business owners may have heard, the self-certification process will not create any negative impacts, lead to increased inspections, or pose threats or penalties,” said Sec. Davin. “Rather, this process is a win-win for both restaurants and consumers, as it will inspire consumer confidence and lead to increased patronage and sales.”

As of November 2, nearly 8,300 restaurants—or approximately 32 percent of all restaurants—have self-certified. The self-certification process is still open for restaurants that wish to self-certify. There is no cost to self-certification.

Restaurants can access the online self-certification form on PA.GOV/COVID. Self-certification enables restaurants, private social clubs and ​food service businesses that serve dine-in, sit down food in a regular, non-event capacity to increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent while adhering to mitigation efforts that will keep employees and customers safe.

The occurrence of regularly scheduled or complaint-based inspections from enforcement agencies will not be affected by certification status. In fact, certifying proves that a business is committed to protecting employees and providing patrons a safe dining experience.

“We encourage all Pennsylvania restaurants to take advantage of this opportunity to both increase capacity and improve visibility of your business,” said Sec. Redding. “Now more than ever, Pennsylvanians want to make educated dining decisions to keep their families safe. Self-certification gives restaurant owners a tool to reassure customers that they are working to keep them, and the staff who serve them, safe.”

The Wolf Administration has released Frequently Asked Questions as a reference for restaurant owners and the public, along with updated restaurant guidance.

Business owners with additional questions about the self-certification program can contact