After more than a year, Philadelphians will no longer have to wear masks indoors starting Friday as the city officially lifts all of its COVID restrictions.
The city announced Wednesday that as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 11, Philadelphia will end the indoor mask mandate as well as the 11 p.m. last call for restaurants.
The lifted restrictions apply to both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated city residents however, officials still strongly urge everyone to become fully vaccinated. Those who received their final dose of the COVID vaccine at least two weeks ago are considered fully vaccinated.
“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,” Mayor Jim 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.”
An average of 53 cases of COVID-19 have been identified per day in June in Philadelphia, the lowest number of cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the health department.
“Lifting the requirement for vaccinated people to wear masks indoors doesn’t mean that we are totally past COVID-19,” Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl 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.”
As of Monday, the health department reported that at least 836,370 Philadelphians have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 645,568 Philadelphians were fully vaccinated. That's 67.4% and 52% of Philadelphia adults respectively. According to the CDC, 66.3% of Philadelphians over the age of 64 are fully vaccinated.
Earlier in the week, the city announced it was putting up hundreds of thousands of dollars to reward people who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine while also encouraging people who are hesitant to get vaccinated.
“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,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.
Philadelphia will still require masks to be worn indoors in select settings, including but not limited to healthcare institutions and events such as vaccine clinics and blood drives, prisons, shelters, adult day programs, trains, buses, taxis, rideshare vehicles, indoor schools, camps and early childhood education.
The mask requirement will also remain in place for all Philadelphia court facilities and procedures until further notice.
Philadelphia’s first COVID restrictions were put in place on March 12, 2020. Non-essential businesses in the city were closed on March 16, 2020.