Philadelphia is in a Modified, Restricted Green Phase of Reopening

Reopening guidance


The below safety guidelines from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health will help keep people safe as businesses, services, and activities restart in Philadelphia. Each safety checklist includes precautions that will prevent the spread of COVID-19; some are recommendations, and some are requirements

If you have questions about how these guidelines affect your business, please email [email protected]. Employees or customers can report possible health and safety violations by calling 311.

Here’s an overview of Philadelphia’s phases, along with activities that can reopen in each. Scroll down for the related guidelines.

Restart date Examples of activities permitted in Philadelphia
Essential businesses and services allowed throughout stay-at-home order; non-emergency construction gradually restarted.
  • Health care
  • Pharmacies
  • Groceries
  • Restaurants (carryout and delivery only)
  • Construction and repair
  • Transportation
June 5
  • Restaurants (food trucks and walk-up ordering)
  • Retail businesses (with restrictions; curbside and delivery strongly encouraged)
  • Childcare centers
  • Outdoor youth day camps and recreation
  • Outdoor parks-related amenities
  • Office-based businesses (telework whenever feasible)
  • Consumer banking
  • Automobile sales
  • Real estate activities
  • Manufacturing
  • Warehouse operations
June 26
  • Residential swimming pools and private swim clubs
  • Zoos (outside only)
  • Personal services such as salons, barbers, and spas
  • Small indoor social and religious gatherings (up to 25 people)
Early July for initial green phase activities. List of activities is subject to change. Initial green phase activities:


  • Casinos
  • Indoor shopping malls
  • Museums and libraries
  • Outdoor group recreational and sports activities for youth and adults
  • Outdoor performances and small outdoor events (up to 50 people)
  • Schools and colleges
To be determined based on the risk of each activity and the state of the virus in Philadelphia.
  • Gyms and indoor exercise classes
  • In-person conventions/conferences
  • Large indoor social and religious gatherings (more than 25 people)
  • Large outdoor events (more than 50 people)
  • Senior services involving gatherings (such as adult daycares)
  • Theaters and indoor events
  • Restaurants with indoor seating (with occupancy restrictions)



Health Care


Entertainment/Travel and Restaurants


Community/Family Gatherings

Physical Activity


Requirements for Resuming Construction Activity in Philadelphia


Under an Executive Order signed April 29, 2020, construction projects that had been halted by the City’s March 22 Business Activity and Stay-at-Home Order will be allowed to resume on Friday, May 1, with some exceptions. The Executive Order requires all active job sites to comply with tight restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.


Projects authorized to resume:

  • For now, authorization to restart applies only to projects for which a construction or demolition permit was issued on or before March 20, 2020. At this time, no work is authorized under permits issued after March 20, 2020, except for “make safe” permits and in case of emergency.
  • Projects that are already underway because they were authorized by the City’s March 22nd Business Activity and Stay-at-Home Order may of course continue under the April 29th Executive Order.
  • Contractors with questions about whether their construction project can resume or continue on May 1st should contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) at [email protected].


Prohibited work: Additionally, none of the following can take place at this time:

  • Underpinning and projects that require underpinning
  • Demolition of an attached structure
  • Projects that require the support of an existing party wall
  • Non-emergency work within occupied residential dwelling units (e.g., single-family homes, duplexes, apartments, condos)
  • Non-emergency work in shared common areas of multi-family residential buildings.


Emergency and “make safe” work and permits:

  • If emergency work is required the contractor must file online for a permit within 3 days of performing the work.
  • Going door-to-door to solicit emergency work is prohibited.
  • “Make-safe” work to address an imminently dangerous or unsafe conditions violation can be performed with a “make-safe” permit.
  • Make safe permits must be obtained in person, by appointment.
  • Before the appointment, review the requirements for make safe permits and make sure that you meet them.

Preparing to resume construction:

As always, you must have all required permits, everyone working on your site as a contractor must be licensed, and you must follow training and conduct requirements.

If you obtained a construction permit before March 20 and have not yet started work, call the L&I automated (IVR) phone system at (215) 255-4040 to schedule an initial inspection. All other inspections should also be scheduled by calling the automated phone system.


Pandemic Safety Officers

  • You must appoint a Pandemic Safety Officer for each active jobsite.
  • The Officer must be on site at any time that work is ongoing.
  • The Officer must have obtained a COVID-19 training certificate from OSHA or an equivalent course.
  • Your Site Safety Manager can also serve as Pandemic Safety Officer.


COVID-19 safety plans

  • You must have a written COVID-19 safety plan for each of your active jobsites.
  • The plan must include procedures to follow in the event that your worksite is exposed to somebody who is a possible case of COVID-19, including the identification and isolation of any exposed workers.
  • The plan must cover how the worksite will comply with all applicable City and State orders and guidance, including but not limited to the requirements set forth in this post.
  • A copy of the plan must be kept at the worksite and shown to inspectors upon request.
  • If feasible, you must ensure that your workers travel to the job site separately.


Jobsite requirements

  • Number of workers
    • If you are working on a one- or two-family dwelling, you may have a total of four workers on site for the entire parcel.
    • If you are working on a multi-family building or a commercial site, you may have up to four workers on site if the jobsite is less than 2,000 enclosed square feet. For each additional enclosed 500 square feet over 2,000, you may have one additional worker on site.
  • Day and time restrictions
    • Authorized work can begin on May 1, 2020, at 7 a.m.
    • All work must be performed on Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
    • No work can take place on Saturday or Sunday, or before 7 a.m., or after 5 p.m., except in an emergency.
  • Additional requirements - You must:
    • Require that workers wear masks at all times while on site.
    • Require social distancing of 6 feet or more between workers while they are working and while they are taking breaks.
    • Provide every worker with regular access to handwashing stations, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
    • Schedule regular handwashing breaks.
    • Minimize sharing of tools between workers.
    • Have high-touch areas and tools cleaned and disinfected regularly.


Complaints: COVID-19 is a deadly and highly contagious disease, and it is imperative that all applicable restrictions be closely followed to curb its spread. Mayor Kenney has expressed his confidence that everyone involved will be vigilant about adhering to safety procedures and protocols as construction work resumes.


If members of the public do witness non-compliant conditions, they should report them as follows:

  • Work being conducted on the weekends should be reported to L&I via email to [email protected]. This email will be activated by Friday, May 1.
  • As always, call 911 in an emergency.
  • All other complaints should be directed to 311.