Philadelphia lifted all COVID-19 capacity restrictions and social distancing guidelines for restaurants and large venues.
The changes, which took effect on June 2, come as positive cases of the novel coronavirus have plunged to the lowest level in the city since fall 2020, NBC 10 reported. Individuals are still required to wear a mask indoors, and bars and restaurants must continue to close by 11 p.m.
The city's decision reflects a significant milestone for the city, which saw a large number of infections at the height of the pandemic. Additionally, Philadelphia was the last big city in the region to maintain capacity and distancing rules for businesses. Other restrictions, such as the indoor mask mandate, may be lifted by June 11, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
In a June 4 email, Penn's College of Arts and Sciences announced that it will no longer require social distancing in campus buildings. All offices, conference rooms, classrooms, and labs are now available to use without social distancing requirements, the email said. Penn OpenPass will also no longer be used to grant entry to buildings beginning July 1.
The city attributes its ability to lift COVID-19 restrictions to its vaccination efforts, which have continued apace as seventy percent of U.S. adults are partially or fully vaccinated, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The changes also allow large venues to resume packed events.