Is there a mask mandate in Pennsylvania?
No. But the City of Philadelphia strongly recommends that you wear a mask when you go to a public indoor space, even if you’re vaccinated. It’s not required, but it’s recommended to keep everyone safe.
This is because the cases of the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 have been going up. Even if you’re fully vaccinated, you can still get — and spread — COVID-19, even if you’re not likely to get sick.
Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties have not changed their guidelines.
Is there a mask mandate in New Jersey?
No. But like Philadelphia, New Jersey recommends that you wear a mask when you are inside a public place, to help prevent new cases.
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What are the CDC mask guidelines for vaccinated people?
The CDC recommends that vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they’re in areas with surging cases. Cases in Philadelphia aren’t surging right now, but they are going up.
What does surging cases mean?
The CDC’s mask advice applies to counties with substantial or high transmission rates.
Substantial transmission means the case rate hits 50 per 100,000, or the percentage of positive cases reaches 8% or higher in the last week.
High transmission means the case rate hits 100 per 100,000, or the percentage of positive cases reaches 10% or higher in the last week
Most of Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, is in the moderate transmission zone. As of the end of July, Pennsylvania is at about 30 cases per 100,000, but nine New Jersey counties have substantial transmission, including Burlington County. Additionally, Monmouth County has high transmission.
Case numbers in both states are going up.
Do I need to wear a mask in a grocery or other store?
In Philadelphia, it’s recommended, even if you’re vaccinated. And it’s not a bad idea to do it no matter where you are. Businesses are allowed to require you to wear a mask.
The delta variant is more contagious than other strains of COVID-19, and you can still catch it and spread it even if you’re vaccinated; you’re just less likely to get sick yourself.
And remember: Kids under 12 can’t get the vaccine yet, so they’re still at risk, and people who are immunocompromised might not be as protected by vaccines as others.
Do I need to wear a mask in a restaurant?
It’s not required. The Philadelphia region has reopened, and indoor dining is allowed at full capacity. Servers and staff also aren’t required to wear masks. There haven’t been any new guidelines that would change that.
That said, it’s not a bad idea, as delta cases go up, to wear a mask when you’re not at your table. Both the CDC and Philadelphia guidelines reflect the fact that you’re at higher risk indoors, and both wearing a mask and limiting your time indoors will help keep everyone safer.
Do I need to wear a mask on SEPTA, PATCO, or other transportation?
Yes. You have to wear a mask on all public transportation, including SEPTA, PATCO, and Amtrak. Masks are required for everyone, even if you’re vaccinated.
Do I need to wear a mask in a Lyft or Uber?
Yes, you still have to wear a mask to use a Lyft or Uber — and your driver does too.