Exclusive: Philadelphia lifting COVID-19 ban on special events

A story you heard first on KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia is lifting the ban on special events that was imposed last year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. KYW Newsradio has learned that two city departments will begin accepting permit applications for large outdoor events, starting Tuesday.

The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Office of Special Events will once again take applications from residents and event producers, but they’ll be a bit more complicated than in the past, according to officials with knowledge of the process.

They will now have to certify that they will follow all public health guidance in effect on the day of the event, including crowd size limits.

Larger events will have to submit a COVID-19 safety plan for approval.

Any plans for food at an event will automatically limit the size to 100 people.

The goal, the officials say, is to approve the permits on a rolling basis as quickly as possible, but it’s not clear yet how quickly events could resume since no applications have been submitted yet.

The Scholastic Rowing Association says they would like to resume competition as early as March 28. They have already submitted a safety plan, jointly, with the Schuylkill Navy and Dad Vail organizers. They plan to apply to hold the Stotesbury and Dad Vail Regattas in May.

The Broad Street Run had previously announced it would put the race off until October.

The Streets Department, which issues permits for block parties and street festivals, will begin accepting applications on April 15.