Philly Will Let Restaurants Operate at 50% If They Can Pass New Air Quality Tests
Unlike the rest of the state which can simply open at 50%, the city is making local restaurants jump through hoops in order to open their eateries to more customers. The new regulation will allow restaurants to operate at half capacity starting February 12th only after they pass an air quality test.
Starting this week restaurants will have to fill out an application in order to be tested and permitted to operate at 50%. After receiving the application the city stated that they will respond to each application within 72 hours. The air quality test will ultimately be a hard look at restaurant’s ventilation system. The city will examine the following:
- HVAC system is fully operational and ventilates the entire indoor dining area.
- At least 20 percent outside is air circulated by HVAC system.
- Filtration MERV 11 or higher.
- At least 15 air exchanges per hour are measured indoors.
- Exhaust vent has a minimum six-foot clearance from tables, chairs, or other items.
However, many restauranteurs may simply not be able to afford the upgrades or changes needed to comply with the new air standards. Cuba Libre owner Barry Gutin told CBS 3 “I don’t know that everyone’s going to be able to achieve this. I don’t know that everyone is going to be able to afford this. So it’s not a good solution for many restaurants.”