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08-24-21-move-in-locust-walk-summer-campus-busy-kylie-cooper
Students, families, and visitors fill Locust Walk, some masked and many not, on Aug. 24. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Philadelphia has introduced new COVID-19 restrictions to limit the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Masks are required at all indoor businesses and institutions, regardless of vaccination status, unless the business chooses to require that all people inside prove they are fully vaccinated. This includes restaurants, indoor offices, and other indoor gathering spaces.

Philadelphia is also requiring everyone —  regardless of vaccination status — to wear a mask at unseated, outdoor gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Philadelphia has also introduced vaccine mandates for city and health care workers and Philadelphia colleges. As of Sept. 1, the City will require all new hires to be vaccinated and current city employees to be vaccinated or wear two masks while indoors at work. 

Starting Oct. 15, all health care workers in Philadelphia will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 barring religious and medical exemptions. Students, faculty, and staff at Philadelphia colleges and universities in Philadelphia must also be vaccinated against COVID-19 barring exceptions.

The city previously lifted its mask mandate in June when over 50% of the adult population was vaccinated. Though as of Aug. 11, the region has reached "high" levels of virus spread linked to the Delta variant.

Since the new restrictions were announced in mid-August, more Philadelphia-area residents have decided to get their shots, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Philadelphia has seen a small uptick in vaccinations this month compared to late June and July.

As of Aug. 30, 80.2% of residents 18 and older received at least one dose, and 65.5% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Most indoor attractions, such as museums, are open with requirements for masks or vaccines. Some require or recommend tickets to be purchased in advance. Parks and outdoor recreation destinations are open, and fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask or social distance, according to Visit Philadelphia.

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