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Updated Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Requiring Universal Face Coverings

Frequently Asked Questions

Created November 17, 2020; Updated June 28, 2021

The Updated Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Requiring Universal Face Coverings was lifted on June 28, 2021. There is no longer a statewide requirement to wear masks. Pennsylvanians should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for wearing a mask where required by law, rule, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance and policies. In addition, all individuals should still follow guidance at workplaces, local businesses, long-term and residential care facilities, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

What can I do now that I am fully vaccinated? Should I still wear a mask if I am fully vaccinated?

If you've been fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic. This does not apply to patients, staff or visitors within a healthcare setting.

  • You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
    • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
    • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
    • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you've been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility, a residential facility, or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19,  it is recommended you still get tested, even if you don't have symptoms.

For now, if you've been fully vaccinated:

  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace, in healthcare settings, and in local businesses.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be 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.  Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested 3 days before travel by air into the United States (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you've been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

View more information for vaccinated Pennsylvanians.

Do I still need to wear a mask in a health care setting?

Regardless of vaccine status, you will still need to follow guidance in healthcare settings.  Different facilities may have different guidance – you should always check with the facility if you are uncertain of current guidance for masking and other COVID-19 disease control measures.

All health care personnel should follow the CDC guidance for source control and PPE use in health care settings.

All patients and residents of a health care setting should follow the CDC guidance for source control, which continues to recommend universal mask wearing for patients and residents with very minimal exceptions.

All visitors in a health care setting should follow the CDC guidance for source control, which continues to recommend universal mask wearing for visitors with very minimal exceptions.

View more information for various health care settings.