The city of Philadelphia has lifted its COVID-19 vaccine passport mandate because of a drop in cases, according to the city's health commissioner.
"As of today, we no longer need our city's dining establishments to check vaccines," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole announced on Feb. 16. The mandate went into effect in January, requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining.
Masks will still be required indoors, Bettigole said on Feb. 16. Mask mandates were lifted across Pennsylvania several weeks ago.
Some business owners said the vaccine passport mandate harmed their ability to make money.
Washington, D.C., lifted its vaccine passport system for restaurants, concerts, and gyms last week. New York state also lifted its mask-or-vaccine mandate for indoor businesses earlier in February.
However, during her announcement on Feb. 14, Bowser left the door open for city officials to reimplement the passport system.
“What we know is that we have to be nimble, if something should change, like it changed in December, with a new, very contagious variant,” she said. “I don’t think any of us can say here that there won’t be other variants that would require us to do something different. So just like when omicron presented itself, we adjusted our approach.”
Several other cities, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston still have a vaccine passport system in place.