Social distancing

Social distancing

Social distancing involves restrictions and recommendations that keep people away from each other or that promote the use of face masks so that the virus does not spread from one person to another.  In every setting, people should follow a Safety Checklist to reduce virus spread.

In response to the resurgence of COVID-19 in the Fall of 2020, the City of Philadelphia increased the number of restrictions on businesses and activities.  The Department of Public Health has created detailed guidance using this Safety Checklist for categories of businesses and activities.

Safety checklist

The City’s reopening guidance includes Safety Checklists of precautions tailored to the specific activity and setting. Each contains these common eight elements.

  • Masks – block the virus from spreading from infected persons by wearing masks and requiring others to wear them
  • Barriers – use sneeze guards or plexiglass screens to prevent respiratory droplets expelled by infected persons from reaching others
  • Isolate – keep people who might be carrying the virus safely away from others (ideally at home)
  • Distance – maintain space between people to reduce the chance that one infected individual will infect others
  • Reduce crowds – decrease the number of people that an infected person could pass the virus to if other steps are not successful
  • Handwashing – reduce the spread of virus from one person to another from touching contaminated surfaces
  • Clean – remove respiratory droplets that may contain virus from surfaces that people may touch
  • Communicate – ensure staff, customers, and others taking part in permitted activities understand this Safety Checklist

While some elements of the Safe Mode guidance will be strong recommendations, others will be required, as specified in a Mayoral Executive Order.


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