Philadelphia restaurants will be allowed to increase their indoor dining capacity if they pass an air ventilation test, the city’s Department of Health announced.

Indoor capabilities are currently capped at 25 percent but will expand to 50 percent beginning Friday as long as the restaurants can meet the department’s enhanced standards.

The agency outlined the details in a press release on Tuesday. Establishments that have an HVAC system or standalone ventilation unit will have to ensure it is fully operational and ventilates the entire indoor dining area.

The system or ventilation unit would also have to replace the room’s air at least 15 times an hour. The same goes for restaurants using window fans.

To read the full list of requirements click here.

Restaurant owners would need to submit documentation that certifies the establishment meets the requirements. The health department said it would conduct inspections to make sure the information submitted is accurate.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told the Philly Voice that the air test requirements will help restaurants “get back on their feet economically” by safely providing service to customers.

“We’re trying to come up with that balance,” he said. “Consider what we’re doing here with these new standards a sort of Version 1.0.”

“We’re going to learn from this,” Farley sadded. “I’m sure there will be glitches with it, but as we learn from this, we may be able to adjust. This is an attempt to really try to meet the business goals and the opportunity to get people back to work.”

Erin Wallace, who owns the Devil’s Den in South Philadelphia, told local station WPVI-TV that meeting the requirements will be a challenge.

“I took a look at it today and I’m not an HVAC person. So we’re definitely going to have to bring somebody in,” she said.

Another owner, Barry Gutin, said he will be rushing to get his restaurant, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, open by Friday.

“We put in airstream disinfection which uses UVC lighting to kill the virus and any other bacteria right in the ductwork,” he told the news station. “But even at 50 percent, it’s tough to make a living. Actually, you lose money, but we lose less.”

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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