Certify My Restaurant
Self-certification is an optional program by which you can reassure your employees and customers that you are adhering to all appropriate guidance. Self-certification does NOT impose additional obligations or result in additional inspections; rather, business operators who self-certify have taken the additional step of confirming their dedication to protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19, and thus may increase their occupancy to 50%.
It’s free to join the program and enrollment is voluntary. Participating restaurants will receive:
- A listing on the searchable public Open & Certified PA Business Directory
- Permission to increase indoor dining from 25% to 50% occupancy
- Free Open & Certified Pennsylvania signs for your physical location, website, and social media channels
- Timely updates, reminders, and alerts for new business guidance and resources
NOTE: Self-certification does not override more restrictive dining requirements that have been implemented at the county or municipal levels. Even if your restaurant is self-certified with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you must follow local dining requirements if your restaurant is located within a jurisdiction that has implemented more strict requirements. For instance, self-certification does not permit your restaurant to operate at 50% indoor capacity if your restaurant is located in a jurisdiction that does not allow indoor dining.
As part of the self-certification process, you must confirm your business is following all required public health and safety measures including:
- CDC Health Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars
- Department of Health Mitigation Order
- Governor’s Mitigation Order
- COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Business (and posting the flyer)
As part of these health and safety measures, you must require:
- Mask wearing
- Social distancing (of at least 6 feet)
- Limiting indoor and outdoor seating
- Close alcohol sales at 11:00 PM
How to Self-Certify
The self-certification form will be available starting on Sept. 21, 2020. To complete the form, you must:
- Read the full requirements (also available in Spanish) for self-certification included in the form
- Agree to comply with all requirements
- Provide your maximum indoor occupancy based on the fire code
- Confirm your information is correct
Owners should keep a copy of the self-certification confirmation they will receive by e-mail. For questions about the Open and Certified Pennsylvania program, read the Frequently Asked Questions or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The enforcement agencies listed below will be able to access your information as part of their ongoing enforcement activities.
- PA Department of State
- PA Department of Health
- PA Department of Agriculture
- PA Department of Labor & Industry
- Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control
Self-certification will not lead to any additional inspections. Beginning on Oct. 5, 2020, enforcement officials will be checking on your self-certification status if your restaurant is operating at 50% indoor dining capacity. If you are not offering indoor dining, or if you are keeping indoor dining at a maximum of 25% occupancy, you do not need to complete the self-certification form.