Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all nonessential businesses across Pennsylvania, including bars and restaurants, to close for the next two weeks beyond offering takeout and delivery in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
This expands his initial order covering select counties, and takes effect March 16 at midnight. The announcement came Monday not long after the city of Philadelphia ordered all restaurants to stop dine-in services and offer only delivery and pickup starting March 16 at 5 p.m. (Several Philly restaurants had already made the decision to shift to delivery and takeout exclusively, or to close entirely.)
Like the statewide order, the restrictions put in place by the city of Philadelphia also apply to all nonessential businesses, not just restaurants. All nonessential city services will also be temporarily halted, starting Wednesday, March 18.
“These changes will disrupt life in Philadelphia, and we do not make these changes lightly. We are well aware of the potentially devastating effect they will have on the business and workers in our city,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a press conference.
Establishments in the Philadelphia food world that can remain open as usual include supermarkets, grocery stores, and stores that sell frozen food products. Banks, big box stores, pharmacies, mini-markets and nonspecialized food stores, hardware stores, laundromats and dry cleaners, post offices, daycare centers, gas stations, and veterinary clinics are all also on the list of businesses that can stay open.
For now, the order goes through March 27.