YORK COUNTY, Pa. — After three months, the final phase of reopening reaches South Central Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf’s Green Phase of reopening allows large gatherings of up to 250 people, reopens child care centers, and permits nearly every business to welcome back customers at 50 percent occupancy.
On June 12, Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York counties will enter the green phase. This means 46 counties will be in green and 21 counties remain in yellow.
Continued telework is strongly encouraged and masks are still required when entering a business in the green phase.
Customers have been calling to book appointments at Salon Addison Davis & Heartwood Spa in Springettsbury Township, York County for more than a week. Jennifer Ryder-Merrill, the salon’s co-owner, said she has never seen it so busy.
“As soon as we found out when we were going green, it’s just blown up. We’ve been on the phone non-stop,” said Ryder-Merrill. “The spa side is busy, massage and facials are busy, and definitely the salon side is busy.”
Ryder-Merrill said the salon has implemented safety protocols by placing hand sanitizer at the door, spacing salon chairs six feet apart and implementing "contact-less" check-in—which allows customers to pay over the phone. There will also be glass partitions to separate customers from staff at the register and nail technicians during manicures.
“I have been preparing since the moment we had to leave,” Ryder-Merrill emphasized. “We have gloves. We also have masks, if somebody forgot their mask.”
Restrictions remain in place at long-term care facilities, like personal care and nursing homes. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), "no-visitor" policies will remain in effect for 28 days after the beginning of the green phase in those counties.
Barring that, counties can go somewhat back to normal. Dine-in services are back on the menu as restaurants and bars will begin serving customers indoors, at 50 percent occupancy. Gyms, indoor shopping malls and movie theaters can also reopen at 50 percent occupancy.
“I think it’s great to have social interaction face-to-face with people that we haven’t had in so long,” said Julie Wheeler, president of the York County Board of Commissioners.
Wheeler said they will gradually reopen more county buildings once they reach the green phase, meaning many of the county’s 277 furloughed employees will return to work.
“As of today, we brought back 100 of those [furloughed employees] and we’ll continue to bring them back as we continue to open the buildings up to the public,” Wheeler explained.
What won’t change: customers will still be required to wear masks or face coverings when entering, exiting or walking through a business. They can be removed once seated at a restaurant. If a customer is seated at a business, like a salon, the business owner can determine whether or not the masks must be worn at all times.
Here’s what else you need to know about the Green Phase of reopening:
WORK & CONGREGRATE SETTINGS
Continued Telework Strongly Encouraged
Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Updated Business and Building Safety Requirements
All Businesses Operating at 50% Occupancy in the Yellow Phase May Increase to 75% Occupancy
Child Care May Open Complying with Guidance
Congregate Care Restrictions in Place
Prison and Hospital Restrictions Determined by Individual Facilities
Schools Subject to CDC and Commonwealth Guidance
Large Gatherings of More Than 250 Prohibited
Masks Are Required When Entering a Business
Restaurants and Bars Open at 50% Occupancy
Personal Care Services (including hair salons and barbershops) Open at 50% Occupancy and by Appointment Only
Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities, and Personal Care Services (such as gyms and spas) Open at 50% Occupancy with Appointments Strongly Encouraged
All Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters, and shopping malls) Open at 50% Occupancy
Construction Activity May Return to Full Capacity with Continued Implementation of Protocols