Philadelphia Businesses Must Require Masks or Proof of Vaccination From Employees and Customers Beginning August 12, 2021

Effective at midnight August 12, 2021, Philadelphia businesses must require masks or proof of vaccination from employees and customers.   Businesses that require all staff and customers to be fully vaccinated are not subject to the masking rule.  Large outdoor events with no seating must require masks when more than 1,000 persons attend. Seated events such as professional sports need not require masks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends citizens should be wearing masks and social distancing in all indoor public spaces in areas where testing results show that COVID-19 is spreading at “substantial” or “high” levels.

Philadelphia is currently considered an area where COVID-19 is spreading at a “substantial” level.  During the week of August 1, Philadelphia recorded 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections, the largest tally since an upswing of cases beginning in July, according to data from the city health department. That figure is a fraction of the 7,362 weekly infections seen toward the end of December of last year, when the virus was at its peak in the city.  Last week, Philadelphia had only 51 confirmed cases.

The CDC has stated that despite being fully vaccinated, persons can still become infected with COVID-19, but the disease’s effects are severely blunted. Vaccinated individuals who acquire a so-called breakthrough infection are very unlikely to require hospitalization or die.

A link to the City of Philadelphia’s announcement of the new requirements follows:

For more information, please contact Lisa Scidurlo at, Joseph Hofmann at, Theresa Zechman at, Daniel Sobol at or  the Stevens & Lee attorney with whom you regularly work.