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Dept of Health: Businesses maintain option to require individuals to wear masks


Pennsylvania – Although the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health say that fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to not wear a mask indoors or outdoors in most situations now, they remind you that private businesses absolutely still have the ability to continue to require you to wear a mask for the time being.

Please be kind to employees and follow the requirements that are still in place for them.

Workers have been doing their best throughout the pandemic to keep people safe, continue working, remain open, and keep products on the shelves. Please be courteous to them and do not make their jobs any more difficult.

They are doing their best the follow their company’s policies, which have changed multiple times throughout the pandemic, Be kind.


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Health reminded Pennsylvanians that fully vaccinated individuals may choose not to wear a mask, unless a business or organization, such as a school, requires that added layer of protection, in accordance with updated masking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“By getting vaccinated with one of the three safe and effective vaccines, you are adding the best layer of protection for yourself and others,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “If you are fully vaccinated, it is an incentive to be able to remove your mask, but businesses and workplaces may still require this added layer of protection for their employees or customers that may have underlying conditions that continue to make them vulnerable to this virus. We ask that Pennsylvanians continue to be kind and respectful to each other as we continue to fight COVID-19 in our communities and continue to get residents vaccinated.”

The CDC guidance states that fully vaccinated individuals – two weeks after their final dose — can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by law, rule, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Under the guidance, individuals are still being required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports and stations. In addition, all individuals should still follow guidance at workplaces, local businesses, long-term care facilities, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters.

The Secretary of Health’s universal face covering order remains in effect and unvaccinated individuals, including children, must still comply with the order. Once 70 percent of Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, Pennsylvania will lift the masking order. As of today, May 14, 47.4 percent of adults 18 and older are fully vaccinated in Pennsylvania, according to the CDC vaccine tracker.

You can find the nearest vaccine provider with available vaccine using Vaccine Finder.

The Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient to all Pennsylvanians:

The Wolf Administration stresses the role Pennsylvanians play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated with one of the three safe and effective vaccines available to provide the best layer of protection.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19, especially if you are unwell.
  • Download the COVID Alert PA app and make your phone part of the fight. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store by searching for “covid alert pa”.

Updated Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Photos, Graphics