Philadelphia has enacted a mandate, effective Thursday, that all employees and customers in businesses citywide have proof of vaccination or wear a mask, according to CBS-3 Philadelphia.
"We know we need to take stronger steps to protect our residents," said Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, noting that the delta variant has spread COVID-19 throughout the city as cases have doubled three times in a month, according to the report. "I'm upset.
"This amazes me, that this is the most simple thing to do to keep yourself safe and your family safe and your community safe, and people still refuse to do it."
About 30% of Philadelphians remain unvaccinated amid the rise of cases, prompting the mayor to enact mask mandates he has been reluctant to restore.
"Things don't look good right now, especially in light of what we're seeing in other states," acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole told CBS-3.
"Getting vaccinated isn't just a personal decision. It's a decision that affects all of us."
Unless businesses require proof of vaccination, masks will be required for everyone indoors under the mayor's new mandate.
There will be no changes for outdoor dining, but all outdoor, unseated gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be required to wear masks, according to the report.
Also, all city employees will be required to be vaccinated or wear double masks if they work inside. Violators will be subject to fines, according to CBS-3.
The moves have the support of most city unions.
"A mandate will help in stopping this disease," Ernest Garrett, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 33, told CBS-3.
The Firefighters and Paramedics Union has come out against the new restrictions, according to the report.
"We are not going to sit there and tolerate anyone jamming anything down our throats," Local 22 Philly President Mike Bresnan told CBS-3.
Kenney welcomed legal action against his order.
"If somebody wants to sue us for trying to keep them alive, then we'll see what the judge has to say," Kenney said.
The NFL's Philadelphia Eagles updated their regulations after the order, requiring masks at all indoor locations at Lincoln Financial Field, but not outdoors. Also, the Eagles say they will not require proof of vaccination, deciding to go with only the mask requirements.
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