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June 10, 2021

Philly to drop COVID-19 indoor mask mandate Friday

Restaurants will also be permitted to remain open for dining past 11 p.m.

Government COVID-19
Philly indoor mask mandate Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Face masks will still be in required in some indoor public places, such as schools and health care settings.

Philadelphia's indoor mask mandate will be no more come Friday.

The city will lift the last of its "Safer at Home" COVID-19 restrictions on June 11, which means residents can finally ditch face masks in most public indoor settings and restaurants can stay open for dining past 11 p.m.

While fully vaccinated people will no longer have to wear masks indoors, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated Philadelphians are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks while around others in public indoor and outdoor settings. 

Face masks will still be required in the following public indoor places:

• Health care settings, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities
• Congregate settings, such as prisons and homeless shelters
• Public transportation, including airplanes, trains, buses, taxis and ride-sharing services
• Schools, summer camps and early childhood education
• City court facilities and procedures 

Mayor Jim Kenney credited the number of fully vaccinated Philadelphians for allowing the city to "finally do the things that we’ve missed doing for the last year."

"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," Kenney said. "But Friday will be a day that we’ve all been looking forward to: getting back to doing the things that we love."

Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole cited the rapidly-declining number of COVID-19 infections as the city's reasoning to move forward with dropping its indoor mask mandate.

Philly is currently reporting an average of 53 COVID-19 cases per day during the month of June, which is the fewest number of infections that the city has seen since the pandemic started last March. For the week of May 30, 285 new COVID-19 infections were recorded, the lowest number since 525 new cases were reported during the week of March 15, 2020.

But city officials urged residents to continue getting vaccinated against COVID-19 if they had not already done so.

"Lifting the requirement for vaccinated people to wear masks indoors doesn’t mean that we are totally past COVID-19," Bettigole said. "Dozens of Philadelphians are still being diagnosed with COVID-19 every day, which means that more of us still need to get vaccinated."

Over 836,000 Philadelphians — or roughly 67% of adults — have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. More than 645,000 Philadelphians, which accounts for about 52% of adults, are fully vaccinated.

Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings

In response, Philadelphia ended its outdoor mask mandate on May 21. The city indicated that its indoor mask mandate would remain in place until at least June 11, stating that health officials would reevaluate COVID-19 transmission metrics before deciding whether to remove the order.

Philadelphia dropped most of its COVID-19 restrictions last Wednesday after originally planning to end most this Friday.

Pennsylvania is planning to lift its COVID-19 mask mandate for unvaccinated people by June 28 or when 70% of Pennsylvania's adult population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — whichever comes first.

Last month, Pennsylvania only lifted its mask mandate for people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Most of Pennsylvania's COVID-19 restrictions expired Memorial Day.

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