Pennsylvania residents are now required to wear masks outside of their homes, as ordered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Gov. Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday.
The order will require masks to be worn in indoor public spaces and outdoor areas where people cannot consistently maintain a six-foot distance from others, according to the announcement. Children under the age of two and people who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition are exempt from the order.
The order is an expansion of the business safety order that the Department of Health issued in April, which required employees and customers to wear masks and practice distancing while visiting businesses. The Wolf administration chose to issue the new order in response to recent surges in COVID-19 case counts across the state, such as in Allegheny County.
“Those hot spots can be traced to situations where Pennsylvanians were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing – two practices that must be adhered to if we want to maintain the freedoms we have in place under our reopening,” Wolf said, according to the announcement.
Philadelphia scaled back its plans for entering the green phase by July 3 after experiencing a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, The Temple News reported. Philadelphia’s modified green phase plans will prohibit indoor gatherings of over 25 people, indoor dining and gyms from reopening until Aug. 1 at the earliest.