Mask mandate will be lifted on Friday 21 for fully vaccinated residents. The announcement was made by the Philadelphia Department of Health which stated that from that date on, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask at outdoor gatherings, restaurants, games, and performances. However, masks will still be required in public spaces indoors.
Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said during a briefing those who have received the complete procedure of COVID- 19 vaccination are protected from catching and spreading the virus. She urged people who have not been vaccinated or people who are within the vaccine process to continue to wear a mask.
“While we’re going to go ahead and relax outdoor mask guidance, since we know COVID is rarely transmitted outside, we’re going to wait a bit longer to relax indoor mask rules,” Bettigole said.
Previously to the mask mandate lifting, the city announced the increase of capacity limits in most settings to 50% and the reduction of social distancing from six feet to three feet on Friday. Restaurants and bars are still capped at 50%, or 75% with enhanced ventilation, but now customers will be able to buy alcohol without needing to purchase food.
Mask mandate reviewed
According to a 6 ABC report, if the numbers keep the desired tendency, Philadelphia health authorities will continue to ask everyone to wear masks indoors and then the mask mandate will be reviewed again two weeks later. But, regardless of the changes for fully vaccinated, the city says people who have not completed the vaccination process, should continue to wear masks when around others indoors.
“Based on the most recent studies, we can now be comfortable, finally, that people who are fully vaccinated are not only protected from getting sick from COVID, they’re also protected from passing it to others,” Bettigole said over the removal of the mask mandate.
On June 11, Philadelphia will lift its ‘Safer at Home’ COVID-19 restrictions, other than the mask requirements. The rest of Pennsylvania will do the same two weeks earlier.