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5:09 AM / Monday July 4, 2022

14 May 2021

Fully reopening Philadelphia: Our plan for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions

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May 14, 2021 Category: Coronavirus, Coronavirus Posted by:

By Sarah Reyes 

Board of Health, Department of Public Health

After 14 months of Philadelphians working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and due to the continuing drop in newly reported cases, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) announced a further relaxation of the current Safer-at-Home restrictions beginning May 21. 

Additionally, PDPH announced that all Safer at Home restrictions will be ending, with the exception of mask requirements, on Friday, June 11.

Relaxing these restrictions is possible because of the immense sacrifices that Philadelphians made over the last year and because more Philadelphians are getting vaccinated every day.  We’d like to thank our front line and essential workers who risked their own well-being to care for COVID-19 patients, kept our city running, and administered more than 1.3 million doses of vaccine so far. 

This is a big moment for us Philly, but we need to continue to reopen safely. We need everyone to continue wearing masks around others, and get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Encourage others in your life to get vaccinated too. It’s the best way to ensure that our city can stay open and get back to all the things we’ve missed.

We’re excited to announce that on Friday, May 21, the following changes will go into effect.

Restaurants

– Can still operate at 50% maximum capacity, or 75% maximum capacity if they can meet enhanced ventilation standards.

– Distance between chair backs will be reduced from six feet to three feet.

– The requirement for alcohol to be served with food will end.

 -Mask requirements remain in effect for those not seated or eating.

 – Offices, retail stores, bowling alleys, museums, and libraries

– Will be allowed to operate with no density limits, but mask requirements are still in effect.

Catered events

Indoor catered events:

Will be allowed to operate at 25 percent of occupancy limit.

– Food must be served at the table only.

– A maximum of 250 persons, including staff, will be allowed if there will be no music, dancing, or alcohol.

– A maximum of 150 persons, including staff, will be allowed if there will be music, dancing, or alcohol.

Outdoor catered events:

Can operate at 50% of occupancy limit, no cap on number of persons attending.

Gyms and indoor pools

Will be allowed to operate at 75 percent of occupancy limit or 15 persons per 1,000 square feet.

Exercise class size will be capped at 25 persons.

Outdoor pools

Can operate with no density limits or maximum capacity.

Gatherings and theaters

Indoor:

– Will be allowed to operate at 50 percent of occupancy limit.

– Must enforce a minimum of three feet of distance between persons of different groups.

Outdoor:

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– If the site has fixed seating, it will be allowed to operate at 50 percent of occupancy limit.

– If the site has no seating, a maximum of 33 persons per 1,000 square feet are allowed.

-Must enforce a minimum of three feet of distance between persons of different groups.

Casinos

– Can operate at 50 percent maximum capacity, or at 75 percent maximum capacity if they can meet enhanced ventilation standards.

 – Must enforce a minimum of three feet of distance between persons of different groups.

– Alcohol can be sold at gaming machines.

– Mask requirements are still in effect.

All Safer at Home restrictions will be ending, with the exception of mask requirements, on Friday, June 11. 

This will be possible because of everyone who masked up, vaxxed up, and maintained distance from loved ones, as difficult as it was. Thank you, Philadelphia.

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