PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia will lift its indoor mask mandate and 11 p.m. curfew for dining on Friday. The city said effective 12:01 a.m., the final two “Safer-at-Home” COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted, meaning masks will no longer be required inside for people vaccinated or not.
“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. 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.”READ MORE: Residents Begin To Clean Up, Assess Damage After Two Tornadoes Touch Down In Bucks County Leaving Path Of Destruction
Philadelphia has the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
The city cited the vaccination numbers as the motive behind lifting the restrictions.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: School District Of Philadelphia Superintendent To Provide Update On 2021-2022 School Year
“Due to the lowest new case counts that we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic, we are now excited to lift the last of the Safer-at-Home restrictions,” Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. “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.”
The health department recommends people who are not fully vaccinated should still wear masks when around other people.MORE NEWS: CDC Document Warns Delta Variant Appears To Spread As Easily As Chickenpox And Cause More Severe Infection
The city said masks will still be required in some places, such as healthcare institutions, congregate facilities, on public transportation and indoor schools, camps and early childhood education.