Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

PA to end most pandemic restrictions at end of May; mask mandate remains

A scene from the PA Department of Health lab in Exton

Pennsylvania soon will join a quickly growing number of states around the country by lifting most pandemic restrictions, although facemask requirements will remain in place.

In a press release on Tuesday, the state Department of Health announced that most pandemic-related mitigation orders will be lifted at midnight on Memorial Day, May 31.

“We continue to make significant progress in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and as more Pennsylvania adults get vaccinated and guidance from the CDC evolves, we can continue to move forward with our reopening efforts,” Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam said.

Recently, several states, including Florida, New York and New Jersey, have announced ends to their pandemic-related restrictions.

With this announcement, businesses that once were under severe restrictions, such as bars, restaurants, gyms and theaters, will be able to operate normally and at full capacity.

In Pennsylvania, face covering requirements will stay in place until 70% of residents, 18 years and older, are fully vaccinated, according to the commonwealth.

Currently, about one-third of the state’s adult population is fully vaccinated. About half has received at least one dose.

Under current state mandates, most Pennsylvanians must wear a mask both indoors and outdoors. Fully vaccinated residents are not required to wear masks under certain circumstances, such as while engaging in non-crowded outdoor activities and visiting indoors with other fully vaccinated people.

“I encourage Pennsylvanians to take the critical steps needed to put this pandemic behind us by getting vaccinated, follow through with both doses if you receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and continue to take steps like masking, frequent hand washing and sanitizing and social distancing,” Beam said.

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