Philadelphia drops its vaccine mandate for indoor dining.

Philadelphia is joining a growing list of cities that will no longer require proof of vaccination to enter places that serve food or drink.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced the policy on Wednesday, citing improving numbers of cases and hospitalizations as the Omicron-driven wave recedes.

Other cities and counties have recently relaxed vaccination mandates for indoor dining, including Washington, D.C., and, as of Wednesday, the county that includes Seattle.

Philadelphia authorities announced a new tiered Covid response system that they said would make their public health decisions more transparent by tying them to specific benchmarks for new cases, positive tests and hospitalizations. If the metrics improve, authorities will continue to ease restrictions, but if they go in the wrong direction, the regulations will be reinstated.

While Philadelphia is dropping its vaccine mandate, masks will still be required in all indoor public places for now. Under its new system, that could also change if its situation keeps improving.

Philadelphia is one of several cities and counties, including Los Angeles, to keep its mask policy in place and not follow the lead of a series of states, including New York, New Jersey, Oregon and California, where mask mandates are lifting. Pennsylvania ended its statewide mask mandate for K-12 students on Jan. 17.

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