PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia officials announced Friday that the city will be lifting more COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, June 2. It was previously announced that the city would lift restrictions on June 11, but the continued low rates prompted the change in plans.
As of Wednesday, there will no longer be density limits, maximum capacity limits or distancing rules, officials said.
The indoor mask mandate and the 11 p.m. last call for dining order will continue to be enforced until the Health Department reviews the state of the pandemic. Officials said they may drop those restrictions on Friday, June 11.
"As more Philadelphians get vaccinated, COVID cases in Philadelphia have continued to drop, and positivity and hospitalizations remain low," said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. "These are encouraging signs that vaccination is truly turning the tide in Philadelphia. 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."
Stadiums, arenas return to full capacity
The change means the Wells Fargo Center will be able to host fans at full capacity in time for a potential Game 5 in the 76ers-Wizards playoff series.
"Opening our doors to more than 20,000 fans is an important moment for our entire city. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Wells Fargo Center was one of the first and most significant buildings in Philadelphia to close its doors, so our full re-opening sends a clear message that our city is back," said Valerie Camillo, president of business operations for Wells Fargo Center.
The arena recently completed an $11 million renovation of its HVAC systems, installing a new, state-of-the-art air filtration system that replaces all the air in the arena's seating bowl every 30 minutes.
The change in timeline is also good news for Phillies fans as the return to 100% capacity at Citizens Bank Park is coming even sooner.
Beginning Friday, June 4, against the Washington Nationals, the park will increase to 100% capacity and tailgating will be permitted in the parking lots south of Pattison Avenue.
Fans are not required to wear masks while in the seating bowl and outdoor areas at Citizens Bank Park, but all fans must wear masks in indoor spaces including the Diamond Club, retail stores, elevators and restrooms.
Those who are unvaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks at all times.