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Religious institutions and funerals

The following is intended as a plain-language summary of rules during the COVID-19 emergency and does not replace the need to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

See Restaurants and other indoor establishments selling food and/or drink for guidance on cafes or restaurants within your establishment.

Guidance for institutions that choose to be vaccination-only

  • Institutions may choose to require vaccination for all attendees and employees.
  • An institution may be vaccination only and still allow unvaccinated congregants/guests including children to briefly (under 15 minutes) enter an establishment to use the restroom. They should remain masked at all times while indoors.
  • If applicable for live entertainment: Performers may be unmasked if a distance of 12 feet between performer and audience can be maintained at all times throughout the performance. If the performer is unvaccinated, then everyone in the audience must mask.
  • If the performer is vaccinated, but the institution is not checking proof of vaccination for the audience, then audience must still mask.

Proof of vaccination

  • If you require congregants/attendees to provide proof of vaccination:
    • Determine how you will check vaccination status upon entry to your business or institution. Read more about ways to check for proof of vaccination (PDF).
    • Ensure that staff and customers are asked about vaccination in a respectful manner and consistent with applicable privacy laws and standards. Businesses and institutions must obey all applicable local, state, tribal, and territorial laws, regulations, and rules as they consider whether to confirm COVID-19 vaccination status.


  • Communicate to congregants/attendees and staff in advance if your institution will be vaccination-only or masked at all times.  This will give them time to prepare to enter/frequent your institution.
  • Post signage and announcements to help congregants/attendees understand how to keep themselves safe while visiting your institution. See Health Department posters on masking and vaccination requirements.

Read more about how to keep your congregants/attendees safe in prevention strategies.

Follow guidance for businesses and/or restaurants if there are offices or a restaurant(s) within your institution.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Health Department by calling: 215-685-5488 or emailing:

See also

  • Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • If you have questions, call the Department of Public Health at (215) 685-5488.