Aug. 18, 2020

UNIONTOWN – To help companies in the event industry from being forced to close, Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) announced legislation that would allow them to operate safely at 50% capacity.

In July, Gov. Tom Wolf limited indoor events and gatherings to 25 persons – regardless of the venue’s capacity – and outdoor events and gatherings to 250 people. He included staff in the maximum occupancy limit.

Under Dowling’s legislation, venues, caterers and other businesses would still need to adhere to social distancing standards per the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Businesses in the event industry have essentially been forced out of business as limiting indoor events to that degree doesn’t allow for any reasonable profit,” Dowling said. “It’s also hurting Pennsylvanians who are trying to live their lives in the aftermath of a pandemic, one that has been largely contained in the Commonwealth.”

People hoping to get married are facing increased stress and uncertainty as they attempt to address the changing limits on their celebrations.

“You are telling me I can have a tent wedding outside and invite 250 people but I cannot go inside where my venue holds 500? I ask you please to lift some of these limitations. All we are asking for is please up the indoor gatherings back to 50% capacity,” said Rachel Rosiek, a bride with 150 guests for her wedding planned for Sept. 5, in a letter to Wolf.

“We’re at certainly at the point where the limitations the governor has placed on us all because of the pandemic feel worse than the threat of COVID-19. People need to have the opportunity to make their own choices, especially when venues are able to operate within CDC guidelines. We can’t live under his rule forever,” Dowling added.

Representative Matt Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
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