Gym owners, clients react to elimination of Philly mask mandate

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Friday marks the first day that fully vaccinated people will no longer need a mask indoors in Philadelphia.

The indoor mask mandate was one of the last restrictions to be lifted in the city, along with the 11 p.m. last call for restaurants.

Business owners across the city will still have the final say on whether customers will need a mask while in their establishments.

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The City of Philadelphia has lifted its final COVID-19 restrictions including the indoor mask mandate.

Ronald Johnson, owner of Yard Out Fit Club Philadelphia in East Mount Airy, said his clients will be able to choose whether they want to wear a mask while working out.

"Everybody hates the masks. Nobody really likes the masks, especially when training with me, because I'm going to push you," Johnson said.

Johnson said they'll continue doing temperature checks at the door and cleaning all equipment as clients make their way in and out of the building.

Many of them said they've been waiting for this day of not needing a mask indoors.

"Personally, I don't mind. I'm vaccinated. I just take precautions and stay six feet away," said Yard Out client Frank Holmes.

The city's decision to leave gyms shut down longer than other businesses during the height of the pandemic was a huge topic of debate, but Johnson found a way to keep his business going.

"I've been open about seven months. It's been a rough journey, but a great journey for me," Johnson said.

Masks are still required in many congregate settings in Philadelphia, such as on public transit and in schools.

Pennsylvania guidelines still require people who are unvaccinated to wear a mask and social distance at least until June 28 or until 70% of adults are fully vaccinated, whichever comes first.

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