Jim O’Connor and Melanie Fortino, at Philly's Naked Bike Ride last year Credit: Daniella Heminghaus for Billy Penn

💌 Love Philly? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter to get everything you need to know about Philadelphia, every day.

Update: Four days after implementing it, Philadelphia is reportedly planning to rescind the mask mandate, with a detailed announcement expected Friday morning.

It’s confusing AF out there when it comes to where you’re required to wear a mask.

As of Tuesday night, SEPTA is no longer requiring masks on public transit or in stations. The agency’s announcement comes after a Florida judge voided the federal mandate for planes and other travel. That happened on the same day Philly’s citywide indoor mask mandate was reinstated, to adhere to pre-set metrics outlined in the city’s COVID response system, which is different from the CDC’s system.

Cases and hospitalizations in Philly are on the rise, but are still lower than the previous surge. That’s true across the region and the U.S., but Philadelphia so far is the only city to reinstate a general mask-or-vax rule.

It’s a widely debated issue, and recent polls show Americans are split. Experts agree masking helps reduce COVID spread, but small biz owners like restaurateurs and others say it’s economically devastating.

After the Florida ruling by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Mizelle, officials in the Biden administration said they’ll appeal the ruling if the CDC deems masking necessary, but won’t try to enforce the travel mandate in the meantime. This means masks aren’t required on public transit vehicles like Amtrak for the first time since the early days of the pandemic — though the CDC still recommends passengers mask up.

If you’re having trouble keeping up, we don’t blame you. Here’s a list of the places you are or are not currently required to wear a mask in Philadelphia.

(We’ll work to keep this updated as the rules inevitably change. Have a location we should look into adding to the list? Hit us up: tips@billypenn.com)

Mask is optional

  • SEPTA buses, trains, and trolleys
  • SEPTA stations and concourses
  • PATCO trains
  • Uber rides
  • Lyft rides
  • Amtrak
  • NJ Transit
  • Megabus
  • Greyhound
  • Most airlines at PHL Airport
  • Eating or drinking at a bar, restaurant, or cafe
  • Any Philly business that requires proof of full vaccination to enter

Mask is required

Jordan Levy is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn, always aiming to help Philadelphians share their stories. Formerly, he has worked at Document Journal, n+1 Magazine, and The New Republic. He...