Philadelphia, PA

Philly Set to ‘Fully Reopen’ Earlier Than Planned

Genius Turner
“Nothing beats a Philly summer" —Will Smith(JR P/Flickr)

As summertime nears, Philly's on the verge of lifting all "Safer at Home" restrictions

PHILADELPHIA — Philly’s own Will Smith once rapped about glorious summer days in the City of Brotherly Love. “Put your car on cruise and lay back,” rapped Smith “ 'cause this is summertime. Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.”

With summer set to officially start on June 20, weeks ago when Mayor Kenney announced plans to ditch the "safer at home" restrictions on June 11, such news was cause for celebration. Yet before such cheering without masks could get underway, officials announced, Friday night, COVID-19 restrictions are set to be lifted one week earlier than initially planned.

Starting next Wednesday on June 2, everything that falls under the "Safer at Home" restrictions will be swept away, similar to what the Sixers are doing to the Wizards. Speaking of the Sixers, the fanbase welcomes such news. After all, lifting maximum capacity limits and distancing rules sounds right on time as the Sixers gear up for a long championship run.

It's been over a year since Sixers and Flyers fans filled up the Wells Fargo Center.

Having 20,000 roaring Sixers fans back inside the Wells Fargo Center is “an important moment for our entire city,” said Valerie Camillo, president of Business Operations for Wells Fargo Center. “At the beginning of the pandemic, the Wells Fargo Center was one of the first and most significant buildings in Philadelphia to close its doors, so our full reopening sends a clear message that our city is back."
Sixers fans are eager to end this almost 40-year-long championship drought.(Philadelphia 76ers/Flickr)

It's been over a year since The Victor Cafe and El Vez served diners at pre-pandemic levels.

As for the original June 11 date, it now serves as another potential milestone. The reason being, though restrictions are set to be lifted, masks will still be required indoors, that is, until June 11. The Health Department will then review the state of the pandemic and consider dropping the remaining restrictions.

"We’d like to thank our front line and essential workers who risked their own well-being to care for COVID-19 patients, kept our city running, and administered more than 1.3 million doses of vaccine so far," the city announced.

With Pennsylvania and New Jersey announcing moves to lift restrictions on Memorial Day, perhaps Philly's officials slightly felt pressured to bump up the initial June 11 date.

In short, with almost half of Philly's population over 10 years old having received at least one shot, according to health department data, it appears Philadelphians are primed and ready to once again hum Will Smith's anthem:

'Cause this is summertime. Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.”

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