HARRISBURG – After declaring a statewide shutdown urging all state wide-businesses to close earlier this week, Governor Tom Wolf is now mandating most PA businesses to close to slow the spread of COVID-19, “I had hoped for voluntary compliance so our public safety officials could focus on assisting with the crisis. Unfortunately, we have not seen full compliance. We have no time to lose. We cannot allow this virus to overwhelm our hospitals.”
Governor Wolf is ordering the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses at 8 p.m. tonight. Enforcement actions for restaurant, and bar dine-in closures began at 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Enforcement actions for non-compliance for all businesses will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
Governor Wolf says business owners should not worry about the financial repercussions, ” I have heard from business owners and workers that they are worried about the financial repercussions of a closure. I’m aware of that, and my administration is already working every channel to find ways to support businesses and workers.”
Governor Wolf says failure to comply will result in citations, fines or license suspensions. The Governor is also directing the following state agencies and local officials to enforce the closure orders to the full extent of the law:
- Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
· Department of Health
· Department of Agriculture
· Pennsylvania State Police
· Local officials, using their resources to enforce closure orders within their jurisdictions
The governor says a move like this has to be done, “It’s now time for every business to take a serious look at their operating procedures. So I’m urging all businesses who can operate without a physical location to begin doing so. If your business is not life critical, you should work remotely.”
In extenuating circumstances, special exemptions will be granted to businesses that are supplying or serving health providers.
A list of life-sustaining businesses is here.