PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – Philadelphia officials announced a new mask mandate Wednesday morning to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases.
According to health officials, the city requires companies to wear masks unless the company requires proof of vaccination.
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In order to prove the vaccination status, the people must have their vaccination card or a photo of the ID with them.
The new mandate also means that some large outdoor gatherings will look slightly different. City officials say masks are required for all non-seated outdoor events in Philadelphia with more than 1,000 attendees.
“Like a concert with Moshpit, people really have to be masked. If they sit and sit at a sports game, they don’t need to be masked when they are outside, “said Acting Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole.
Shortly after the announcement, the Eagles issued a statement stating that everyone must wear a mask when visiting the interiors of Lincoln Financial Field. Fans do not need to wear a mask outdoors.
It was unclear whether that mandate would affect Labor Day weekend’s huge Made in America festival, but Kenney and Bettigole said people should be prepared to wear masks at events like this until cases recede.
As for the Wells Fargo Center, indoor concerts and shows require masks if not all of them require proof of vaccine.
The new mandate will take effect at 12 noon in Philadelphia.
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“In June and July we weren’t expecting it, but you can see the level of immaturity across the country,” said Mayor Jim Kenney of the decision.
Following Wednesday’s announcement, the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association issued a statement saying the changes “impose unfair responsibility on operators and their employees for enforcing these new requirements.”
“The PRLA supports the goal of a vaccinated and safe working environment for everyone. However, mitigation efforts should not enable business owners and operators to choose between fully vaccinated staff and customer bases or masks for everyone. This is an unfair review burden on employees who do not have time to train or implement protocols. Over the past year, restaurant workers have suffered serious setbacks in enforcing these rules, “the statement said.
By Wednesday, 63.2% of adults over the age of 18 in the city will be fully vaccinated. Currently, 118 people with COVID-19 are being hospitalized in the city.
All Philadelphia City workers must be vaccinated by September 1 or wear a double mask when working indoors.
City officials hope this will encourage more vaccinations.
“People just have to grow up and do what they have to do. It’s not difficult because it’s free, accessible, and you can get a vaccine. It’s not a big challenge, ”said Kenney.
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