Family Restaurant Facing Thousands in Fines for Defying Governor’s Orders and Reopening Found Not Guilty

by Penka Arsova
LaCorte News

A U.S. court has sided with a restaurant in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania that received citations of up to $10,000 for violating the coronavirus restrictions in the state.

The story: The Taste of Sicily restaurant re-opened in May after having been closed for two months under the state’s rules and guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. The reopening happened during the yellow phase of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s restriction. In the yellow phase, the state eased some of the rules, including lifting stay-at-home orders, but still forced businesses to follow strict guidelines.

Restaurants and bars specifically were only allowed to have guests outdoors and could provide only carry-out services and delivery.

The owners of Taste of Sicily, Michael Mangano and Christine Wartluft defied the orders. They let customers decide whether they wanted to wear a mask or practice social distancing and opened at full capacity. They were then cited for running afoul of the coronavirus restrictions. The owners took the citations to court and pleaded not guilty.

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