What to Know
- With vaccines increasing and COVID-19 case counts going down, Philadelphia is easing COVID-19 restrictions.
- The city on Tuesday announced a two-phase approach to reopening.
- Some restrictions on businesses and gatherings ease on May 21. Then on June 11, all capacity limits will be lifted. Masking requirements will remain in place.
After more than a year of coronavirus-related capacity limits and other restrictions, Philadelphia is one month away from lifting virus-related limitations, except for wearing face masks.
On Friday, June 11, Philadelphia will drop all capacity-related restrictions on businesses and activities and “fully reopen our economy,” Mayor Jim Kenney announced during a highly-anticipated Zoom news briefing Tuesday afternoon.
Filling the House and Dining Late Again
There will be no more restrictions based on business or event type on June 11.
The relaxing of rules means that the Phillies could fill up Citizens Bank Park with fans for the June 12 game against the New York Yankees and that the 11 p.m. curfew on dining will no longer be in effect that weekend moving forward.
Everyone will still need to wear masks indoors and in other crowded situations when they aren’t eating or drinking, officials said.
Before the reopening of Philadelphia, the city is relaxing capacity restrictions on stores, museums, libraries, offices, theaters, casinos, gyms, outdoor weddings and more on Friday, May 21.
Here are the new guidelines for May 21:
- No density limits will be in place for retail stores, offices, museums, bowling alleys and libraries. Masks must still be worn unless someone is alone in an office.
- Theaters and other gatherings with fixed seating both indoors and outdoors (this includes stadiums) will be capped at 50% capacity with a minimum of 3 feet of space, rather than 6 feet. Masks must still be worn.
- Outdoor venues with no seating can have 33 people per 1,000 square feet and 3 feet of distance must be followed.
- No maximum number of people for outdoor catered events, but the events are capped at 50%.
- Gyms and indoor pools can operate at 75% capacity or 15 people per 1,000 square feet. Exercise classes are capped at 25 people.
- Outdoor pools have no limits.
- Indoor dining capacity in Philadelphia restaurants remains at the current level of 50% for all eateries and 75% for those businesses that meet “enhanced ventilation standards.” Seat backs can, however, be within 3 feet to allow for more customers.
- Alcohol can be purchased and consumed without food.
- Casinos face the same 50%, 75% limits that restaurants do. Groups must be 3 feet apart and alcohol can be served at gaming machines.
- Indoor catered events — which the city considers the “riskiest” — won’t budge from the 25% occupancy with a cap of 150 persons, including staff, if there is dancing and alcohol being served. Up to 250 people will be allowed as long as there is no music, dancing or alcohol.
Detailed guidance is expected by week’s end, the city said.
The announcement comes a week after officials announced statewide coronavirus-related capacity restrictions in Pennsylvania will be lifted in time for Memorial Day — with the exception of mask wearing in public. On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that as of Monday, May 17 the capacity for gatherings indoor will go to 50% indoors and 75% outdoors.