July 1, 2022

Volume XII, Number 182

Advertisement
Advertisement

July 01, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 30, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

June 29, 2022

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

Philadelphia to Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccinations to Dine Indoors, Attend Sporting Events

On Dec. 13, 2021, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole announced that beginning Jan. 3, 2022, patrons of all restaurants, bars, and sports venues will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter. These requirements are similar to those recently adopted in other cities, including New York City and New Orleans.

With the return of winter, the continued number of the Delta-variant cases, and the emergence of the new Omicron variant, Mayor Kenney stated a need to “do more to protect our residents.” 

Philadelphia’s indoor mask mandate is still active for all businesses. Under that order, reinstituted in August 2021, mask use is mandatory for patrons and employees inside any business unless the business requires everyone who enters to be vaccinated. 

The Health Department has not issued a formal order yet detailing the requirements slated to start Jan. 3, 2022, but Dr. Bettigole stated that starting on that date, patrons and employees must show proof of vaccination to enter the following settings:

  • Indoor restaurants and bars;

  • Eating areas within larger spaces, such as food courts and museum cafes – and these areas should be cordoned off and subject to a check at the dividing mark;

  • The entirety of venues where food or drink is available for consumption, including sports arenas, theaters, and bowling alleys;

  • Halls where food is being served, including catering halls and convention spaces;

  • Casinos where food or drink is allowed on the floor.

To be admitted, children aged five years and three months through 11 years old must have one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 3, 2022, and their second dose by Feb. 3, 2022. 

As a transitional measure, between Jan. 3 and Jan. 17, 2022, a negative test – taken within 24 hours of entry – will satisfy the requirement. During that transitional period, masks will be required indoors for any establishment that does not require 100% of those inside to be vaccinated. After Jan. 17, those establishments must be 100% vaccinated. 

A carve-out applies for individuals with medical and religious exemptions and children under five years of age. Even after Jan. 17, 2022, however, individuals with exceptions will be required to show proof of a recent negative test when entering a venue that holds over 1,000 people. Because the order will also cover employees, they will be subject to an accommodation analysis under federal and Pennsylvania law.

Philadelphia’s regulations are different than those of surrounding counties because Gov. Tom Wolf’s State of Emergency expired in June 2021 after voters amended the Pennsylvania Constitution to require legislative consent for an extended state of emergency; the limited relevant legislative extensions have all expired. 

Dr. Bettigole stated that there is currently no end-date for this policy, noting that the Kenney administration will continuously monitor and reevaluate based on the situation in Philadelphia. The administration recommends Philadelphia residents get vaccinated, including booster shots for those who are eligible. 

©2022 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 348
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Kevin Greenberg Governmental Attorney Greenberg Traurig
Shareholder

Kevin Greenberg focuses his practice on administrative law, government-related matters, emerging companies, technology, development and regulated companies and entities. A former government lawyer with more than a decade back in private practice, Kevin counsels private and publicly owned companies on state and local regulatory, legal, and policy matters with a focus on the clients strategic objectives and provides advice on matters that will enhance their business opportunities in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania. Kevin also regularly works with a wide range of clients on their...

215-988-7818
James Boudreau, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Philadelphia, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Shareholder

James N. Boudreau is a lawyer at the Global Labor & Employment Practice and the Labor & Employment Practice’s Collective & Systemic Employment Litigation group. He represents management in class action and complex employment litigation and devotes the majority of his practice to managing teams of attorneys and paralegals in nationwide class and collective actions from receipt of the complaint through discovery, class certification and trial. He is considered a thought leader in class-based employment litigation and has been listed by Human Resource...

215-988-7833
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement