Wolf Administration Amends Guidelines for Gathering Limits

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine have amended COVID-19 orders to allow for adjusted capacity for gathering limits while keeping in place the mitigation tools that include wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Starting Friday, Oct. 9 the amended orders will allow for occupancy limits to play a bigger role in determining the number of people permitted both inside and outside of events or gatherings. An event or gathering is defined as a temporary grouping of individuals for defined purposes that takes place over a limited time frame, such as hours or days, including fairs, festivals, concerts, or shows and groupings that occur within larger, more permanent businesses, such as shows or performances within amusement parks, individual showings of movies, business meetings or conferences, or each party or reception within a multi-room venue. Capacity for bars and restaurants will remain at 50% for those that have self-certified and 25% for those that have not.

Groups of people who share a space within a building in the ordinary course of operations, such as in an office building, classroom, production floor or similar regularly occurring operation of a business or organization, are not events or gatherings.

The orders amend two sections of the earlier mitigation orders and include a “maximum occupancy calculator” for both indoor and outdoor events. Based on a venue’s established occupancy limit as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code, venues apply the appropriate percent of occupancy to determine how many attendees are permitted to attend an event or gathering.

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Indoor Rate  

0-2,000 people – 20% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people – 15% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people – 10% of Maximum Occupancy up to 3,750 people

Maximum Occupancy Allowable Outdoor Rate 
0-2,000 people – 25% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people – 20% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people – 15% of Maximum Occupancy up to 7,500 people

Venues must continue to require attendees to comply with 6-foot social distancing requirements, to wear masks or face coverings, and to implement best practices such as timed entry, multiple entry and exit points, multiple restrooms and hygiene stations.

View the governor’s amended order here.
View the secretary’s amended order here.
View FAQs about the amended orders on safe gatherings.