Friday night's Phillies game marked the first sporting event in the city where masks were no longer required outdoors as Philadelphia lifts the mandate ahead of fully reopening on June 11.
- At 5:00, tonight, it's a big day for Philadelphia. Masks are no longer required outdoors, and a change in capacity limits is having a major impact at the ballpark and inside the Wells Fargo Center. Friday night, and the big story in Action News is the easing of restrictions all across the Delaware Valley.
- And late this afternoon, we learned that come Monday, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, will announce the indoor mask requirements will be lifted next Friday. But let's talk more about the city. There are going to be more fans inside Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia tonight. Action News reporter Jaclyn Lee, live there outside the ballpark with the new changes that are coming. Jaclyn?
JACLYN LEE: Shari and Rick, in just a few hours, Phillies fans will be able to walk through those gates, not have to wear a mask outdoors, if they're fully vaccinated. But we've spoken with a lot of people who say they're just not comfortable ditching the masks yet, proving this will be a very personal decision.
With somewhere around the corner, people in Philadelphia can shed their masks outdoors if they're fully vaccinated.
RAYMOND LING: It is liberating, and you can walk around without a mask again. So I think it's a good thing.
- On Friday, Philadelphia officials dropped the outdoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals ahead of easing all restrictions on June 11. But some say, it's too soon.
- I just got fully vaccinated about three days ago. I still believe that you should wear a mask, because, you know, it's a world pandemic. We don't really know what the effects are of everything, because we haven't been through something like this yet.
- City officials state the reasons for easing up include a decrease in COVID cases and an increase in vaccinations. Retail stores, museums, and libraries will no longer have capacity limits. Indoor catered events can operate at 25% capacity, and food and alcohol can be served. Outdoor catered events can operate at 50% capacity.
PHIL EFFINGER: We're ready to get back to work, and we're ready to have people go to concerts and events again. So we're excited.
- Also, starting Friday, fully vaccinated Phillies fans no longer have to wear masks in any of the outdoor spaces of the ballpark.
SAL DEANGELIS: We are encouraging unvaccinated fans to still wear their masks. Masks will be required in indoor spaces at the ballpark, so the Diamond Club, elevators, restrooms.
- Seating capacity will also increase from 11,000 to 16,000.
And the 76ers game on Sunday will actually-- the Wells Fargo Center will be increasing capacity to 50%. That means 11,000 fans will be allowed inside. That is a very large increase from the more than 5,000 fans that are currently allowed inside, so we're live in South Philadelphia. Jaclyn Lee, Channel 6, Action News. Shari?
- All right, sports fans getting excited about it for sure then. Jaclyn, thank you.