Philly lifting outdoor mask mandate on Friday, indoor policy remains for now

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- People will no longer need to wear a mask outside in Philadelphia starting Friday when the city lifts its outdoor mask mandate.

This means Phillies fans will no longer need masks at Citizens Bank Park.

The city is asking residents and visitors to wait a bit longer to relax its indoor mask guidance, Philadelphia's acting health commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said Wednesday.

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You will no longer need to wear a mask outside in Philadelphia starting Friday, May 21, 2021.

Philadelphia's existing mask guidance will remain enforced until May 21, when other COVID-19 restrictions like indoor capacity limits are eased in the city.

On that day, masks will no longer be needed outdoors. This means masks will no longer be required at outdoor gatherings, restaurants, performances, and sporting events. Dr. Bettigole says this goes for fully vaccinated people and not vaccinated, but she recommends everyone get the vaccine.

Masks will still be required in public spaces indoors.

During the week of June 6, the city will review case counts, COVID testing positivity rates, hospitalizations and vaccine coverage rates to see if it's safe to further loosen their mask guidance.

On Friday, June 11, as long as the numbers move in the right directions, the city says fully vaccinated people will no longer need to wear masks inside most spaces in Philadelphia.

If the numbers do not go in the right directions, the city will continue to ask everyone to wear masks indoors and then it would be reviewed again two weeks later.

Regardless of the changes for fully vaccinated, the city says people who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks when around others indoors.

This was Dr. Bettigole's first briefing as acting health commissioner since Dr. Thomas Farley resigned last week over his mishandling of remains of victims of the MOVE bombing.
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Mayor Jim Kenney said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley decided to cremate and dispose of the remains of the MOVE bombing victims several years ago.

Pennsylvania health officials announced the state was following the CDC's guidance saying vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors shortly after the change was made.

Philadelphia has frequently been stricter than the rest of the state and said it would wait.

RELATED: Mask or no mask? What you need to know about mask guidelines across the Delaware Valley

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"We expect to have a decision on this updated guidance within days," officials said.

On June 11, Philadelphia will lift its 'Safer at Home' COVID-19 restrictions, other than the mask requirements. The rest of Pennsylvania will do the same two weeks earlier.
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Mayor Jim Kenney announced Tuesday afternoon that the City of Philadelphia will drop its "safer at home" restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic on June 11.

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