August 11, 2021
Like it or not, a mask mandate has returned to Philadelphia, and it's probably going to make an impact on your social calendar.
With Philly – and the rest of the country – battling a surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spurred by the highly contagious delta variant, the city is requiring masks inside all businesses that do not ask for proof of vaccination for entry. The mandate also applies to unseated outdoor events with more than 1,000 people in attendance.
The good news is that most large-scale events, for now, have not been canceled. On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Kenney said a lockdown is not in the city's future "if everybody acts like a mature adult and does what they're supposed to do."
So what are you supposed to do?
First the events: Here's what you need to know about masks and vaccination policies at some upcoming sporting events, concerts and more in and around Philadelphia.
Beginning with Thursday night's preseason game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, fans at Lincoln Financial Field will not have to wear masks while they're cheering on the Birds from their seats or walking around the stadium's open-air concourse levels. But that doesn't mean you get to leave your masks at home.
The Eagles will require fans to mask up "when visiting indoor spaces." That includes restrooms, elevators, the Pro Shop, suites with their windows closed and club lobbies. The team also "strongly encouraged" fans who are not vaccinated to wear masks any time they are not actively eating or drinking.
Same goes at Citizens Bank Park as it does at the Linc: No masks required while in the stands or concourses at Phillies games, but you'll need one in indoor areas.
"These areas include the Diamond Club (except while actively eating or drinking), New Era Phillies Team Store, '47 Alley Store, elevators and restrooms," the Phillies said in a statement Wednesday, according to NBC10.
Philadelphia's namesake soccer team plays its games at Subaru Park, located outside city limits.
"Since we are located in (Chester,) Delaware County, this does not change anything for our matches," a team official said Thursday. "We will continue to work with our medical staff and local health officials to evaluate the situation."
The suburbs and the rest of Pennsylvania continue to adhere the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's recommendations: Face masks are not needed outdoors, except in crowded settings or when in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
Subaru Park has been operating at full capacity since late June. Face masks are not required for fully vaccinated Union fans attending games, the team states on it website, but masks are strongly recommended for all fans unless actively eating or drinking. Subaru Park's staff, stadium security and concession workers are required to wear masks.
Runners who plan to hit the streets Aug. 29 for the eighth iteration of the 6.2-mile race will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test administered no earlier than 7:30 a.m. Aug. 26 before heading to the starting line. A photo of your vaccination card will suffice.
Masks will not be required while racing through South Philly and Center City, but runners must wear them before the race begins, upon crossing the finish line and inside the post-race festival area, except while actively eating or drinking.
"Since we're an outdoor recreation event, there's a little more nuance that goes into this, because, obviously, running and racing and having a mask on can be very challenging for runners," race founder Ryan Callahan told PhillyVoice. "So we engaged (the city) to kind of say, 'Hey, can we have a clearer picture of what this means?' And it was during that time where they told us that we would need to have masks and vaccines required."
To curb crowd sizes, spectators will not be allowed to gather at the start or finish lines, according to Callahan. The race founder "strongly" encourages that anyone who plans to watch family or friends run wear a mask, but don't expect a masking policy to be strictly enforced along the route.
"It's 6.2 miles. I can't go and stop a person (without a mask) standing outside watching," Callahan said.
Registration for the in-person Philly 10K or a virtual alternative is open through 11 a.m. on Aug. 26. For more info, visit the race website.
Runners and volunteers participating in the 2021 Blue Cross Broad Street Run will be required to show proof of vaccination, the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, which organizes the event, said. The race takes place Oct. 10
Runners need to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 26, and proof of vaccination needs to be provided to race organizers by Oct. 8. Those registered who are not fully vaccinated can only participate in Broad Street Run virtually. Race organizers will contact everyone registered with a link and instructions to upload their vaccination records.
"Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the single most important thing any of us can do this year to keep runners and our community safe," Philadelphia Parks & Recreation commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said.
Additionally, runners will need to wear face masks at the start of the race and the finish line. Broad Street Run staff and volunteers are required to wear masks at all times.
Spectators are discouraged from attending the 10-mile race and will not be permitted at the start or finish lines. Designated cheering zones, which traditionally lined portions of the route, will not occur at the 2021 race. Instead of attending in person, the city encourages people to watch the broadcast on NBC10 or Telemundo62. Coverage begins at 7:30 a.m.
Roc Nation's outdoor music festival will require concertgoers to show either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test recorded no later than 48 hours prior to arriving at the gates on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Everyone must wear masks inside the festival grounds, as well.
Made in America festival takes place Sept. 4-5 and is headlined by Justin Bieber, Lil Baby, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion.
Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez told the Inquirer that Made in America is working with the city to expand the festival site so there is room to conduct rapid tests for COVID-19 antibodies at the gate for attendees who do not have proof of vaccination or a negative test. She also said the festival plans to launch an app in the coming weeks that will allow attendees to upload their vaccination status to their smartphones ahead of time.
If you will be making the trek to the Delaware woods to watch Billie Eilish, The Killers, Tame Impala, Lizzo and more from Sept. 23-27, you're going to need either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
On Thursday, AEG Presents, which owns Firefly and other high-profile music festivals, such as Coachella, will require attendees at all of its events to either be fully vaccinated against the virus or produce a negative test within 72 hours show dates.
"Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, we're heading. The delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again," AEG Presents Chairman and CEO Jay Marciano said. "We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one."
AEG Presents operates venues around the country, including Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia and the Keswick Theatre in Montgomery County. The company has instituted one blanket policy for all it's concert halls in United State. The details for Franklin Music Hall and the Keswick Theatre are in the list below.
At indoor venues, people must wear masks, other are requiring proof of vaccination and at least one is requiring both. These are the rules at some venues in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.
Effective Sept. 18, guests ages 12 and older attending public events at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music and the Merriam Theater must show proof of full vaccination. Those who do not will be denied entry.
The theaters will not accept negative COVID-19 tests from anyone ages 12 and older. Children under 12 must show a negative PCR test taken no earlier than 72 hours before an event.
Campus leaders said the policy was informed by a study of more than 1 million guests conducted alongside 35 performing arts centers across the country and is subject to change based on guidance from the CDC and local health agencies. Ticket holders will receive instructions for presenting proof of vaccination for entry in advance of performances.
"We have learned that 99% of our audiences are already vaccinated, and they are ready to engage with the arts in person once again," Kimmel Cultural Campus President and CEO Anne Ewers said. "We are listening to feedback from our guests, our staff, and our artists, and the clear consensus is safety should be our number 1 priority as we navigate a return to convening around the arts. Requiring proof of vaccination for events across our Campus is a vital and responsible component of reopening."
Guests will also be required to wear masks — except while actively eating or drinking — in designated areas at each theater. Removing masks for long periods of time will not be permitted.
No proof of vaccination will be required at the open-air Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Fairmount Park, but everyone ages 2 and older must wear a mask "in all areas of the Mann campus unless actively eating or drinking," according to information posted to the venue's website.
Everyone attending shows at Union Transfer must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and wear face masks to enter the venue.
The Spring Garden Street concert hall reopened from a yearlong pandemic shutdown with Philly's Japanese Breakfast playing five nights in front of sold-out, masked-up and fully vaccinated crowds, that concluded Wednesday.
The decision to require proof of vaccination at the door and masks inside for those shows was made by Michelle Zauner and her band, but a Union Transfer representative said Thursday that the venue has decided to extend the policy to all of its shows in August and September.
"Most artists have made requests to only play in front of a vaccinated crowd," the venue rep said in an email. "We'll reevaluate for October shows in a few weeks."
If you're planning on stepping foot in the Wells Fargo Center, you'll need to have a mask handy.
"In compliance with Philadelphia’s city-wide mask mandate, all guests and arena employees will be required to wear a mask while inside Wells Fargo Center," the venue's senior vice president and general manager, Phil Laws, told the Inquirer.
It'll be a while before the Sixers and the Flyers resume play in South Philly, but the indoor arena has plenty of events scheduled before then, including a roller skating night on Aug. 28, a Harry Styles concert on Sept. 17 and WWE's Friday Night Smackdown on Sept. 24.
The Camden, New Jersey, hybrid venue is following the CDC's guidelines and "strongly" recommending that guests who are not fully vaccinated wear masks while on its premises unless they are actively eating or drinking. People who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks at BB&T Pavilion.
Whether or not the venue enforces a vaccination policy, it appears, will be up to individual artists, for now. Attendees of Maroon 5's show at BB&T Pavilion on Sept. 4 must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result produced less than 72 hours before the performance, according to the venue's website.
Until Oct. 1, people attending shows at Franklin Music Hall will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken within 72 hours of the show's date. After that date, the venue's operator AEG Presents says all concertgoers and event staff will have to provide proof of full vaccination.
During the period when the venue at 421 N. Seventh St, in the city's East Poplar neighborhood, is accepting negative COVID-19 tests for entry, it also falls under the COVID-19 restrictions set this week by Philadelphia officials, which require people wear masks indoors unless everyone inside must show proof of vaccination.
Updates to its health and safety policies are being posted to Franklin Music Hall's Facebook page.
The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Montgomery County, also is owned by AEG Presents and falls under the same vaccination rules as Franklin Music Hall: Until Oct. 1, people attending shows will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result that is less than 72 hours old. After Oct. 1, the all concertgoers to the Keswick and all event staff will have to provide proof of full vaccination.
The Keswick Theatre is outside Philadelphia and is not subject to the city's indoor face mask mandate.