Masks no longer required outdoors in Philadelphia; other mandates eased

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Masks are no longer required outdoors in the City of Philadelphia if one is fully vaccinated.

It's a step towards normalcy that is leaving some people uneasy.

"I just got fully vaccinated about three days ago," said Doug Rush of Fourtown. "I still believe that you should wear a mask because it's a world pandemic. We don't really know what the effects are of everything because we haven't been through something like this yet."

City officials cite a drop in COVID-19 cases and an increase in vaccinations as reasons to ease restrictions.

"It is liberating and you can walk around without a mask again so I think it's a good thing," said Raymond Ling of Gloucester Township.

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



Restaurants still must operate at 50% capacity - or 75% if they meet ventilation requirements - but the distance between chairs will be reduced from six feet to three feet.

Retail stores, museums and libraries will no longer have capacity limits. Indoor catered events can operate at 25% capacity and food and alcohol can be served. Outdoor catered events can operate at 50% capacity.

"Whether someone is vaccinated or not - you can't really tell who is and who is not - so, to be safe, it's good to have it on," said Flint Reid of Nicetown.

REOPENING TIMELINE: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware easing restrictions

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The Phillies game on Friday night will mark the first sporting event in the city where masks will no longer be required outdoors as Philadelphia lifts the mandate ahead of fully reopening on June 11.



Also starting Friday night, Phillies fans no longer have to wear masks in outdoor areas at Citizens Bank Park.

"We are encouraging all vaccinated fans to still wear their masks," said Sal DeAngelis, director of security and operations for the Phillies. "Masks will be required in indoor spaces at the ballpark - so the Diamond Club, elevators, restrooms."

Fans filling the ballpark for Friday night's game against the Red Sox were excited.

"Finally! It feels wonderful," said Rob Balchunas of Downingtown.

"It feels very weird but I am very excited to be back in the stadium," added Amanda Stewart of West Chester.

The Phillies will increase crowd size from 11,000 to 16,000 beginning Friday night for the start of the three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.

Capacity at Citizens Bank Park will be increased to 100% on June 12, a day after the city lifts most mandates to fully reopen.



A limited number of seating pods will be available for fans who prefer to remain in a socially distanced environment.

Tailgating will also be allowed in lots surrounding the ballpark of the June 12 game against the New York Yankees.

Ahead of the 76ers' game Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center, capacity is increasing to 50%, which will allow 11,000 fans inside, more than doubling the current limit.

Here are all the changes in Philadelphia as of Friday, May 21:

Face Masks:

- Philadelphia will lift its outdoor mask mandate.

Restaurants:
-Still 50% maximum capacity, or 75% maximum capacity if they can meet enhanced ventilation standards.

-Distance between chair backs will be reduced from six feet to three feet.

-The requirement for alcohol to be served with food will end.

-Mask requirements remain in effect for those not seated or eating.
Offices:
-Will be allowed to operate with no density limits, but mask requirements are still in effect.

Retail stores, bowling alleys, museums, libraries, etc.:
-Will be allowed to operate with no density limits, but mask requirements are still in effect.

Gyms and indoor pools:
-Will be allowed to operate at 75% of occupancy limit or 15 people per 1,000 square feet.

Exercise classes:
-Exercise class size will be capped at 25 persons.

Indoor gatherings and theaters:
-Will be allowed to operate at 50% of occupancy limit.
-Must enforce a minimum of three feet of distance between persons of different groups.

Outdoor gatherings and theaters:
-If the site has fixed seating, will be allowed to operate at 50% of occupancy limit.
-If the site has no seating, a maximum of 33 persons per 1,000 square feet are allowed.
-Must enforce a minimum of three feet of distance between persons of different groups.

Indoor catered events:
-Will be allowed to operate at 25% of occupancy limit.
-Food must be served at the table only.
-A maximum of 250 persons, including staff, will be allowed if there will be no music, dancing, or alcohol.
-A maximum of 150 persons, including staff, will be allowed if there will be music, dancing, or alcohol.

Outdoor catered events:
-Can operate at 50% of occupancy limit, with no cap on number of persons attending.

Outdoor pools:
-Can operate with no density limits or maximum capacity.

Casinos:
-Can operate 50% maximum capacity, or 75% maximum capacity if they can meet enhanced ventilation standards.
-Must enforce a minimum of three feet of distance between persons of different groups.
-Alcohol can be sold to patrons at gaming machines.
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