On Friday, city officials announced that nearly all COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in Philly on Wednesday, June 2, nearly ten days earlier than originally planned. As of tomorrow, density limits, capacity limits, and social distancing rules will end, with an 11 p.m. dining last call remaining in place at restaurants and masks still required until at least June 11, when the Health Department will reassess coronavirus cases in the city.
The larger commonwealth of Pennsylvania lifted all restrictions on Monday, May 31, to cap off the Memorial Day weekend. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the city of Philadelphia has kept its own rules, which meant limiting restaurants to a maximum of 75 percent capacity for indoor dining. The changes taking effect on June 2 mean an almost full return to normal for bars and restaurants in the city.
Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, who replaced former commissioner Thomas Farley after he resigned last month over mishandling the remains of victims from the 1985 MOVE Bombing, said that COVID cases have continued to drop and positivity rates and hospitalizations remain low. “These are encouraging signs that vaccination is truly turning the tide in Philadelphia,” Bettigole said. “We still have work to do to reach all Philadelphians, but we also want people to celebrate the good parts of life that we get back by getting vaccinated.”
Masks are still required indoors in both the city and the state. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf previously said that mask mandates will be lifted by the end of June. According to city officials, the mask mandate and 11 p.m. last call could be lifted on June 11, but only after the Health Department reviews the state of the pandemic in the city.
The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.