Gov. Tom Wolf referred to COVID-19 is an “invisible danger” when he announced he was ordering all non-life-sustaining businesses to close Thursday, with enforcement actions set to start at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. He delayed that to begin enforcing the order Monday at 8 a.m.
Business owners that don’t comply could be cited, fined and have their licenses suspended.
On Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced a statewide shut down, ordering all non-essential stores, bars and restaurants to close at midnight.
According to the governor’s office, here is what considered “non-essential” and “essential” businesses:
Public-facing industries such as entertainment and recreation facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers; gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities; hair salons and barber shops, nail salons and spas; casinos; concert venues; theaters; sporting event venues and golf courses; retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations.
Wolf also ordered that all restaurants and bars close their dine-in facilities. Businesses that offer carryout delivery, and drive-through food and beverage should employ social distancing best practices and be aware of the Trump Administration’s guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, state officials said.
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Essential services and sectors
They include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.
State officials said that although the businesses above may remain open, they continue to encourage them to employ social distancing practices and that Pennsylvanians be thoughtful in their visits.
The governor’s also said that other businesses, including but not limited to legal services, business and management consulting, professional services and insurance services are encouraged to have employees work remotely or telecommute. If that is not possible, they should employ social distancing best practices and be aware of the Trump Administration’s guidance to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
A big question is, how can the state enforce this? The governor is asking people to be responsible and know that we’re all in this together, hoping that people will police themselves.