Philadelphia will lift its COVID restrictions on June 2, a week earlier than planned, the city administration announced Friday.
That includes all maximum capacity limits and distancing rules that have affected businesses in the city since the pandemic began. The city called those rules "Safer-at-Home" restrictions.
The city's indoor mask mandate, however, remains in place. That and the rule that ends restaurant dining at 11 p.m. will still be enforced.
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The Health Department said it would continue to review the state of the pandemic in the city and may drop those restrictions on Friday, June 11 -- though that is not definite.
This will be a big step in the region's largest city, which was the last government in the area to have many COVID lockdown rules in place. Pennsylvania will lift its restrictions on Memorial Day; New Jersey lifted most of them May 19.
The city made the move because reported COVID cases have fallen to their lowest point since Sept. 2020 -- which was the lowest point since the start of the pandemic.
"These are encouraging signs that vaccination is truly turning the tide in Philadelphia," said Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, the city's acting health commissioner. "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."