Penn Dining announced that indoor dining will reopen in all of its locations on Monday after suspending it for the beginning of the spring 2022 semester.
In the email sent to students on Jan. 21, Penn Dining announced that students are expected to provide proof of vaccination in compliance with Philadelphia’s vaccine card mandate when dining at retail dining locations such as Houston Market, Accenture Café, and Pret a Manger. The email did not mention this mandate in relation to the six residential dining halls.
The City of Philadelphia had announced on Dec. 13 that all people seeking to dine inside public spaces are required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 beginning on Jan. 17.
The reopening of indoor dining comes as Penn confirmed that in-person classes will begin for the first time this semester on Jan. 24.
Penn Dining initially suspended indoor dining as a result of rising COVID-19 cases but since then, the campus case count and positivity rate have both declined. For the week of Jan. 9 to Jan. 15, 743 community members tested positive compared to 1,313 the week before, and the positivity rate was 6.91% — the lowest number in three weeks.
“We are pleased to welcome students back to in-house dining. Our goal has always been to allow students to have the widest range of dining options, while supporting efforts to keep our campus safe and healthy," Director of Hospitality Services Pam Lampitt wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian on Jan. 23.
Lampitt added that even as indoor dining reopens, students should be mindful to wear their mask any time they are not eating.
"We ask that students, when not eating, continue to wear their masks and that they return their Green2Go containers so that diners who still prefer to take their meals to go have a sustainable way to do so," Lampitt said.
The email from Penn Dining echoed Lampitt, explaining that students should make sure they have a green PennOpen Pass before visiting any dining location and that when not actively eating or drinking, they must be "masked up."
On Jan. 7, Penn announced that starting on Jan. 10, all members of the Penn community must either double-mask — by layering a cloth mask on top of a disposable one — or use a KN95 or N95 mask when indoors.