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March 22, 2020

City Issues Stay at Home Order Clarifying Restrictions on Business Activity in Philadelphia

The City today issued a new Stay at Home Order detailing restrictions on business activity in Philadelphia in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These new restrictions take effect tomorrow, Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8 a.m.

"We recognize that these shifting restrictions have caused confusion or uncertainty, and for that we apologize," said Managing Director Brian Abernathy. "As I've said before, there's no playbook for this situation, and we're doing our best in light of the evolving health situation."

Changes in the new Stay at Home Order include:

  • The City's emergency restrictions no longer end on Friday, March 27. To align with the Governor's order, the City's order remains in effect "until further notice."
  • Under the order's Stay at Home provisions, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Emergency Order. This does not apply to activities related to Essential Businesses and Activities or Essential Personal Activities.
  • All Philadelphia residents must remain home or at their place of residence unless they are engaged in essential personal activities that are spelled out in the order. Those activities include going out to purchase essential goods and food or seeking medical attention.
  • Other permitted activities under the new Stay at Home order include caring for family members, friends, or a pet in another household, delivering essential goods or obtaining emergency services and attention, reporting to their job related to essential business.
  • Outdoor activities such as walking, running, cycling, operating a wheelchair are permitted under the Stay at Home order.
  • The complete list of personal activity restrictions is found in Section 6 of the Order.
  • Walk-in takeout orders at restaurants are now prohibited. Only food pre-ordered on the internet or by phone and drive thru ordering are permitted. Food trucks and ice cream trucks are prohibited.
  • Grocery stores should discourage leisure or idle conduct by customers and manage store occupancy to allow for social distancing.
  • Consistent with the Governor's Order, the City clarifies that the following are life-sustaining businesses or services: laundromats, veterinary hospitals, pet stores, retail banks (allowing drive-through or limited lobby access), stores that primarily repair cell phones, and bicycle or motorcycle repair shops.
  • Emergency household repairs and maintenance are life-sustaining, as are extermination services related to rodents and pests.
  • Businesses required to suspend physical operations may only have essential on-site personnel to maintain critical functions, such as security and processing of essential operations that cannot be done remotely.
  • The prohibition on clothing manufacturing doesn't apply to uniforms and apparel required by medical and healthcare professionals and public safety personnel (police officers, firefighters and EMS providers).
  • City employees who have been deemed essential and must report to work at a location other than their home, should continue to do so.
  • This new Order in no way impacts the delivery of food or essential goods. Truck operators who are part of the supply chain for food and essential goods should know that if all guidelines issued by the CDC are being followed, they are safe to operate trucks and make these deliveries. But again, as noted above, the operation of trucks that serve food is prohibited.
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