What COVID restrictions are in place across the Delaware Valley?

People walk along Market Street

In this April 14, 2021 file photo people walk along Market Street in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything. What should we know about how you approach the world now? How has the pandemic changed your social life, your work life, your interactions with your neighbors? Get in touch here.

Despite rising COVID-19 cases, some state and local health officials have opted to loosen certain COVID-19 mitigation measures, including tossing mask mandates.

On the national level, a recent decision by a federal judge to throw out a travel mask mandate has created a confusing mishmash of rules across various transit systems. The Justice Department said it is appealing the judge’s order.

Here’s what you need to know about current restrictions, recommendations, and mandates across the Delaware Valley.

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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has lifted most COVID-19 restrictions. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations.

The restrictions do not apply to Philadelphia, which has its own COVID-19 mitigation measures. Municipalities and school districts, if they so choose, may continue to implement stricter restrictions.

As of Sunday, April 17, more than 18.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in Pennsylvania. Around 73.7% of all residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

Here’s how to sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia

The city — whose restrictions are independent of those set by the state — has lifted most COVID restrictions. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations:

  • Face masks:
    • Philadelphia has again dropped its indoor mask mandate. Masks are now “strongly encouraged,” but not required, inside restaurants, gyms, retail stores, and schools.
  • Vaccinations:
    • The city’s vaccine mandate for municipal workers is currently on hold.
  • Restaurants:
  • SEPTA:
    • Mask-wearing is no longer required, but is recommended, on SEPTA vehicles, stations, and concourses.
  • Schools:
    • The school mask mandate has been dropped.
    • Weekly COVID testing is no longer required for vaccinated teachers and staff. Testing for unvaccinated staff has moved from twice a week to once a week.

As of Monday, April 18, more than 1.5 million Philadelphians have received at least one vaccine dose, with at least 1.2 million residents fully vaccinated.

New Jersey

New Jersey has loosened certain COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations:

  • Face masks:
    • Face masks are no longer required for vaccinated people in outdoor public spaces or indoor spaces, though businesses may still require face-coverings for employees and customers.
    • Unvaccinated people are asked, but not required, to continue wearing face masks and to maintain physical distance, especially indoors.
  • Vaccinations:
    • New Jersey workers in certain high-risk fields, including health care and congregate settings, need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
      • The state ended its option for employees to be tested for COVID-19 instead of getting vaccinated.
      • Affected workers include those in veterans’ homes, prisons and jails, long-term care facilities, and behavioral health centers.
    • All New Jersey child care workers and facility staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or face weekly testing.
  • Schools:
    • New Jersey’s school mask mandate for students, educators, staff, and visitors has been lifted, though schools may choose to implement their own mask rules.
    • All school personnel — from preschool to high school — must be fully vaccinated or get tested weekly. This includes both full- and part-time staff at all public, private, and parochial schools, as well as substitute teachers and contract workers.
  • NJ Transit:
    • Mask-wearing is no longer required on NJ Transit.

As of Monday, April 18, more than 13.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 6.6 million New Jerseyans fully vaccinated.

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Here’s how to sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey.

Delaware

Delaware has loosened certain COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Below is a breakdown of current mitigation efforts and recommendations:

  • Face masks: Delaware has dropped its indoor mask mandate for businesses, though businesses may choose to implement their own masking rules. That includes courts and most state facilities.
  • Vaccinations: Delaware’s vaccination or test mandate for educators and state employees has been lifted.
  • Schools: Delaware’s school mask mandate for students, teachers, and staff has been lifted.

As of Monday, April 18, more than 94.5% of Delawareans 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 1.7 million doses administered in total.

Here’s how to sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Delaware.

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