MEDIA, Pa. - Pennsylvania will lift nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on Memorial Day, the Wolf administration announced Tuesday, promising to restore something approaching normalcy to the state more than a year into the pandemic and just in time for summer.
Capacity restrictions on bars, restaurants and other businesses, as well as indoor and outdoor event gathering limits, will go away on May 31, meaning concert halls, sports stadiums and wedding venues could soon be packed for the first time since early 2020.
The state’s mask mandate will remain in place, but even that could be dropped — if enough people get vaccinated.
The Health Department says it will lift the order requiring residents to wear masks in public once 70% of Pennsylvanians aged 18 and older are fully vaccinated. That percentage stood at nearly 42% on Tuesday.
"We continue to make significant progress in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and as more Pennsylvania adults get vaccinated and guidance from the CDC evolves, we can continue to move forward with our reopening efforts," Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam said. "I encourage Pennsylvanians to take the critical steps needed to put this pandemic behind us by getting vaccinated, follow through with both doses if you receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and continue to take steps like masking, frequent hand washing and sanitizing and social distancing."
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is recommending Pennsylvanians follow CDC guidance concerning public health and COVID-19.
As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, Philadelphia said they will review the changes the state has announced but has not confirmed when or if they will follow the restrictions lift.
"We’re going to review New Jersey policy and Pennsylvania policy and we’ll consider our local policy in light of that. We’ll announce that later," stated Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. "It’s good to see this particular wave receding, but we are still vulnerable right now to future waves of the epidemic."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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