Pennsylvania Lifts All COVID-19 Restrictions Except Mask Mandate

Pennsylvania Lifts All COVID-19 Restrictions Except Mask Mandate
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf addresses supporters for statewide Democratic candidates in Philadelphia, Penn., on Sept. 21, 2018. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

Pennsylvania on Monday lifted the bulk of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, though a mask mandate remains in place for unvaccinated people, Gov. Tom Wolf said.

All businesses, events, and venues can return to 100 percent capacity starting Monday, Wolf’s office said.

“It’s an exciting day in Pennsylvania: COVID-19 mitigation orders have now been lifted,” Wolf wrote in a May 31 tweet, adding that masking requirements will remain in effect until June 28 at the latest.

“The masking requirement will be lifted on June 28 or when 70 [percent] of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated, whichever comes first,” Wolf wrote.

Updated guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health indicates that fully vaccinated people can resume activities they did prior to the pandemic, including not having to wear a mask or practice social distancing, except in health care settings and where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial regulations, including local business and workplace guidelines.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last required vaccine dose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 54 percent of Pennsylvania residents aged 18 and over are fully vaccinated, while around 70 percent have received at least one dose.

“Pennsylvanians are realizing that they have the power to stop COVID-19 and they are stepping up to get vaccinated,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a statement. “Folks are taking the critical steps needed to put this pandemic behind us and lifting the mitigation measures should allow people to enjoy some of the activities they missed last year.”

Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, opened its doors to customers for the first time in nearly 14 months on Friday, although it still requires people to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

The business had switched to Internet orders, sidewalk sales, and virtual author events to survive during the lockdowns.

“We had to get creative, we had to pivot,” store manager Alex Brubaker told The Associated Press. “Our readers and our customers have been incredible. It’s a rainy weekend, but the bookstore is full.”

Other states have also moved to lift COVID-19 restrictions, with some, like Massachusetts and New Jersey, ending masking requirements.

About 50 percent of the U.S. population has now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest numbers from the CDC. About 40 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
Related Topics