PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia is on track to move into the green phase of the state's reopening plan on July 3, Mayor Jim Kenney announced during a Thursday afternoon press conference.
As the area prepares to move into the least restrictive phase, Kenny says more yellow phase activities such as residential swimming pools and swim clubs will be allowed. Barbershops, salons and personal care services could resume on June 26. Social and religious indoor gatherings of up to 25 people may also restart on that date.
The following will reopen in Philadelphia under the green phase:
- Expanded outdoor youth and adult sports leagues
- Indoor shopping malls
- Libraries and museums
- Small outdoor events
- Indoor dining with restrictions on occupancy
The mayor admitted that Philadelphia's plan to move into the green phase will differ from the state's overall plan. Restrictions will remain in place on casinos, movie theaters, conventions, and gatherings. The city will assess when these activities can resume going forward.
"People think green means go and everything is allowed," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. "Green does not mean everything is allowed. Green in Philadelphia will be more restrictive than green in the rest of Pennsylvania."
Farley says even the most relaxed phase, will come with aggressive mitigation requirements for residents and business owners. Farley highlighted masks, barriers, distancing, crowd reduction, isolation, hand washing, and cleaning as areas of emphasis.
FULL COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS
The city's "reopening with care" plan will evaluate the rate of coronavirus transmission, adherence to mask use, the effectiveness of containment activities, healthcare capacity, and management of vulnerable populations. These considerations will determine when more restrictions can be lifted.
Some anticipate Governor Tom Wolf will move counties surrounding Philadelphia into the green phase before the city's early July target date. Farley says it's important for those who move between green and yellow counties to not let their guard down and maintain mitigation techniques.
"If the counties around us are not also careful then they may see increased spread and that might affect us," Farley said. "I would certainly encourage the counties around us, when they do reopen, to likewise promote our safe mode guidance or something like that."
Currently, Philadelphia has announced over 17,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,200 deaths.
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