Philadelphia’s New Mask, Vaccination Mandate Begins at Midnight
As COVID-19 cases surge across the country, the city of Philadelphia is taking some of the most drastic measures in our area (to date) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning tomorrow (Thursday) all businesses will be required to either require proof of vaccination OR to require all patrons and employees to wear a mask.
This will also apply to all non-seated outdoor events with more than 1,000 attendees.
“The science is clear: these measures will protect Philadelphians and save lives. We also strongly urge everyone who has not yet received the vaccine to get it immediately,” the city’s Mayor Jim Kenney said during Wednesday morning’s COVID-19 press briefing.
The specifics of these policies will be up to individual businesses to implement. But what will this mean?
What Will This Look Like?
Businesses will be tasked with implementing a vaccination requirement to enter their business OR to require that all patrons have a mask in place.
It will be up to the business to decide if they require vaccination or masking.
What Will The Vaccination Requirement Look Like?
Officials say that it would be too confusing to have a system in place where masks aren't required for the vaccinated blending with those who are vaccinated in one business at the same time.
"It does seem like a majority of businesses will go with the mask mandate," Philadelphia's Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said during Wednesday's briefing.
If you're entering a business that requires a vaccination, it will be up to them to implement how they view that proof. They're asking businesses that have a vaccination requirement in place to have a reasonable system in place for checking that.
But photos of the vaccination cards may work in some cases.
"I recommend that people take a photo of their card so they have it easily accessible," Bettigole said.
"I really don't think asking anyone to carry a card is a big deal," Mayor Kenney said.
Is Another Lockdown Coming in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia's Mayor Jim Kenney was asked on Wednesday if another "lockdown" or full business closure would be coming to the city of Philadelphia.
"Not if everyone acts like a mature adult, we don't anticipate a lockdown," Mayor Kenney said. "But you can see the level immaturity around the country. This is not a big lift."
Mayor Kenney did not mince his words about this. He does not foresee that happening again as long as the vaccination rates continue to increase.
This is a developing story. We'll have more details shortly.