By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is getting closer to reopening. June 5 is the target date for many services and businesses to open their doors once again. However, Mayor Jim Kenney said today that won’t happen if people continue to gather in large groups.

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Video of a large gathering in Brewerytown Monday night is causing concern and frustration among city leaders.

“We will continue to hope to reason with people. There are going to be folks in our society who are going to ignore it and they’re going to do what they’re going to do,” Kenney said.

Kenney was frustrated with the hundreds of people who where caught gathering in a vacant lot at the intersection of 28th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. There were about 250 people and a DJ.

The event was planned over social media. One person was arrested for disorderly conduct.

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The mayor said large gatherings like this and elsewhere could result in keeping the city in an even longer shutdown.

“They’re dedicated to putting us back in the red as opposed to yellow. Again, God forbid. Even though these folks are doing what they’re doing, we can continue to drive down these numbers and get back to some normal rhythm. If we don’t get there, it will be their fault,” Kenney said.

Despite gatherings across the city, there appears to be relief in sight. Beginning immediately, restaurants can accept in-person takeout orders. Previously, orders had to be made online or over the phone.

Restaurants are only allowed to have ten customers in line at one time and customers must wear a mask.

“This is what I consider to be the first step towards a new normal here. If all of our numbers continue to be good, we expect to go into what the governor is calling the yellow phase on June 5,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

June 5 is a target date for a scaled reopening and it’s not set in stone.


Today, City Council President Darrell Clarke said that if large groups continue without people wearing masks, these last two months could’ve all been for nothing.