Philly drops indoor mask mandate Friday as city ends 'Safer-at-Home' restrictions

Philadelphia lifted the last two remaining "Safer-at-Home" restrictions on Friday, including the indoor mask mandate and the 11 p.m. last call for restaurants.

According to officials, people who got their final dose of COVID vaccine at least two weeks ago are considered fully vaccinated and the health department no longer requires that they wear masks indoors or outdoors in most 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 the city. 

A bartender at Rotten Ralph's in Old City takes down a flier reminding customers to wear masks indoors. 

"It feels good not to have a mask on," said Kendal Montgomery as she enjoys a beer inside with friends mostly excited about being free of masks in Philly. 

Mayor Jim Kenney said this comes thanks to more than two-thirds of adults being vaccinated already and the lowest new case counts the health department has seen since the start of the pandemic.

"For nearly fifteen months, the City of Philadelphia has had restrictions in place to protect each other, and I have no doubt that these restrictions saved countless lives," said Kenney. "But Friday will be a day that we’ve all been looking forward to: getting back to doing the things that we love. Thanks to the more than two-thirds of adults who’ve been vaccinated already, we can finally do the things that we’ve missed doing for the last year. I urge everyone who has not been vaccinated to join the more than 800,000 fellow Philadelphians so we can continue to move forward from the pandemic." 

Philadelphia will still require that masks be worn indoors in select settings, including but not limited to: 

  • 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
  • Indoor schools, camps and early childhood education

"Due to the lowest new case counts that we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic, we are now excited to lift the last of the Safer-at-Home restrictions," said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. "Lifting the requirement for vaccinated people to wear masks indoors doesn’t mean that we are totally past COVID-19. Dozens of Philadelphians are still being diagnosed with COVID-19 every day, which means that more of us still need to get vaccinated."


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