For nearly 15 months, Philadelphia has had restrictions in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. With COVID-19 case counts hitting encouraging low points, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that the city’s last two restrictions will end on Friday.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. June 11, vaccinated individuals will no longer need to wear masks indoors. The 11 p.m. last call for restaurants will also be no more.
“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,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.
Unvaccinated people are not required to wear masks indoors, but it is recommended that they do so.
“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,” Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said in a statement.
Settings such as schools, summer camps, certain health care institutions, public transportation, and congregate facilities will still have mask mandates. In addition, the city court system will also continue with its mask requirement.
According to the Health Department, the city has identified 53 cases of COVID-19 per day in June — the lowest average since the start of the pandemic. The case tally for the week of May 30 was also an all-time low.
At this point, 67.4% of all Philadelphians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The city hopes to increase the numbers with the rollout of its new $50,000 sweepstakes.
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