Philadelphia Drops Last COVID-19 Restrictions

PhiladelphiaImage by Neil Budde

PHILADELPHIA, PA — After nearly fifteen months of COVID-19 restrictions, today, June 11, the City of Philadelphia is dropping the last of the Safer-at-Home COVID restrictions. Part of these changes includes no longer requiring that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors, and that the 11 p.m. last call curfew at restaurants is lifted. 

What’s changing?

The City of Philadelphia is no longer requiring that fully vaccinated people wear masks in most indoor settings. People who are not vaccinated or are not fully vaccinated are still strongly recommended to wear masks indoors and outdoors when around others but are no longer required to do so by Philadelphia. Some businesses may still require patrons to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, so be on the look-out for signs in store windows.

Masks are still required for everyone in the following high-risk settings:

  • Healthcare institutions including temporary community healthcare events such as vaccine clinics and blood drives
  • Congregate facilities such as prisons, shelters, and adult day programs
  • Public transportation including planes, trains, buses, taxis, and ride share vehicles
  • All indoor childcare settings including schools, camps, and early childhood education and childcare
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Why is the City making these changes?

There are two things that are happening that make the Health Department feel confident that it’s okay to drop these restrictions: fewer people are getting diagnosed with COVID-19 and more people are getting vaccinated.

The city is averaging only  53 cases of COVID-19 per day in June. This is the lowest number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Only 285 people were diagnosed with during the first week of June. The next lowest week was March 15, 2020, when the pandemic was starting. There were 525 new cases that week.

As of Monday, June 7, the Health Department reported that at least 836,370 Philadelphians have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine and 645,568 Philadelphians were fully vaccinated. In percentage terms, 67.4% and 52% of Philadelphia adults, respectively. According to the CDC, 66.3% of Philadelphians over the age of 64 are fully vaccinated.

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Who does this affect?

While the City is no longer requiring masks to be worn indoors in most places, people who aren’t vaccinated are still strongly recommended to wear masks any time they are around other people until they are fully vaccinated.

What does it mean for you?

If you’re fully vaccinated, this means that you can start enjoying the air conditioning on your face. Unless a business is requiring mask use in their facility, and you’re not in one of the few places where they’re still required, you can go without one.

Unvaccinated folks are still at risk of getting COVID, getting sick, spreading it to their loved ones, being hospitalized, or even dying. That’s why they should keep wearing a mask and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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The other big change is that you can now seriously consider that 11:30 p.m. plate of nachos. Restaurants will be going back to their regular closing times.

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