Stay at home

What’s allowed to be open in Pennsylvania during red, yellow and green phases?

Here’s what's allowed and what’s not as counties begin to reopen.
Updated May 29, 2020

As Pennsylvania slowly comes out of a near-total shutdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the state is lifting restrictions on a county by county basis.

Gov. Wolf is using a system of colored “phases” to reopen counties based on the number of new cases and other factors.

READ MORE: How Pennsvylania decides when counties can enter the yellow, green phases

The “red phase” is the most restrictive. It’s what Pennsylvania was under for all of April and much of March. Many counties are still under the red phase, including Philadelphia and its suburbs, though Gov. Wolf plans to have all of Pennsylvania in the yellow phase by June 5.

As of May 29, 57 counties have moved to a “yellow phase” and most businesses are allowed to reopen, but with some new rules.

The first counties have moved to the “green phase,” under which all businesses are allowed to reopen. Starting May 29, 18 counties are in this phase.

Here’s a map of which phase each county is currently in:

We’ve gone through the list of businesses to figure out what’s allowed in each phase. Scroll down to the appropriate section based on which phase your county is in.

If you have questions, ask us or read through our frequently asked coronavirus questions. We will continue to update this page as restrictions change.

Green Phase

Counties: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango, and Warren.

Starting June 5, the following counties will move into the green phase: Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

Under the green phase, all businesses will be allowed to open, but with restrictions, and working remotely is strongly encouraged. Some businesses will be allowed to reopen but only at 50% capacity, including restaurants, barbershops, gyms and entertainment venues. And they still have to follow CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. Those guidelines will probably change as officials learn more about what’s needed to keep people safe.

Gatherings of more than 250 people will still be prohibited.

Yellow Phase

Counties: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Columbia, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York.

Beginning June 5, the remaining counties will move into the yellow phase.

When a county moves to the yellow phase, the stay-at-home order is lifted, and we’re allowed to be around other people — but gatherings of more than 25 people will still not be allowed (and gatherings of any kind are still discouraged). In Philadelphia, which is calling its yellow phase “Safer at home,” people will still be encouraged to minimize social contact as much as possible.

READ MORE: What our social lives will look like in the yellow phase

Most businesses are allowed to reopen but have to follow state guidance, to help prevent a new outbreak. For example, reopened businesses are encouraged to let people work from home as much as possible. And if a business has been operating remotely, they are supposed to continue working remotely in the yellow phase.

Childcare facilities are allowed to reopen. Retail stores are allowed to reopen but are still supposed to to focus on delivery and curbside pickup as much as possible. Day camps are allowed to operate. Schools will still be closed for in-person instruction. Restaurants and bars can reopen for outdoor dining.

But some businesses will still be closed during the yellow phase:

Indoor recreation

This category includes bowling alleys, arcades, racquetball courts and other indoor sports or training facilities, go-kart and other racing tracks, laser tag, pool halls, trampoline facilities, and indoor mini golf.

Health and wellness facilities

This category includes gyms, saunas, tattoo and piercing shops, tanning salons, spas, hair salons, nail salons, and massage parlors.

Entertainment

This category includes casinos, theaters, concert halls, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, race tracks, amusement parks, water parks, carnivals, and playgrounds. It also includes any kind of sports teams or clubs.

Indoor malls

The only stores that can open are those that have their own external entrances, but the mall itself cannot. There’s an exception: Pharmacies or other health care stores in a mall are still allowed to open.

Philadelphia released its own yellow-phase guidelines, called “Safer at home”. Under these guidelines, which are more restrictive than the state guidelines, restaurants and bars will remain closed for anything but delivery and takeout.

Red Phase

Counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill

The business restrictions remain the same as they have been: Only “life-sustaining” businesses, or specific companies that have received a waiver from the state, are allowed in-person operations.

We’ve edited the governor’s list to make it more readable, removing jargon and renaming categories. You can find the governor’s original, unedited list here.

The governor has lifted some restrictions since they went into effect, beginning with allowing some outdoor recreation — including golf courses and marinas — and elective surgeries in hospitals.

Here’s what is and is not allowed under the red phase: