On June 19, Governor Wolf announced that 12 of the remaining 13 counties in the Commonwealth’s Yellow phase of reopening will be eligible to move into the Green phase this coming Friday, June 26. This list includes Philadelphia, its suburbs, Lehigh (Allentown), Lackawanna (Scranton), Erie, and Lancaster. Lebanon County will remain in the Yellow phase for at least an additional week.
As a reminder, Governor Wolf previously issued an amended executive order that provided additional guidance for counties entering the Green phase. The order included provisions for businesses that were permitted to conduct in-person operations in the Yellow phase, those permitted to operate with some restrictions on in-person operations, and those that were not permitted any in-person operations under the Yellow phase. Specifically, the order provided guidance on occupancy limits and health and safety orders that business must adhere to under the Green phase, including:
Businesses that were previously closed must fully comply with previously-issued Business Safety Order (discussed here) and Building Safety Order (available here) and all existing and future applicable guidance issued by the Wolf Administration and the CDC.
Most businesses serving the public can operate at up to 75% of the relevant facility’s maximum capacity, though the order noted that such businesses must still enforce social distancing requirements, which may limit occupancy below the 75% maximum capacity.
Certain businesses that were previously not permitted to reopen under the Governor’s May 7 amended order, such as indoor recreation (e.g., bowling, arcades, and pool halls) indoor health and wellness facilities and personal care services (e.g., gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and massage therapy providers), and all entertainment (e.g., casinos, theaters, museums, concerts, zoos, sports clubs, carnivals, and playgrounds), can operate at up to 50% of the relevant facility’s maximum capacity, though the order noted that such businesses must still enforce social distancing requirements, which may limit occupancy below the 50% maximum capacity.
Although Philadelphia was given the “green light,” local officials have announced that they intend to move more slowly than permitted otherwise by the Governor. The City of Philadelphia issued guidance on June 18 explaining that it will not formally enter the Green phase on June 26, but certain activities will nonetheless become permitted that day, such as residential swimming pools and private swim clubs, zoos (outside only), and personal services such as salons, barbers, and spas. Activities that will wait until the city formally goes green (likely on July 3) include gyms and indoor exercise classes, schools and colleges, museums and libraries, indoor shopping malls, outdoor performances and small outdoor events (up to 50 people), and restaurants with indoor seating (with occupancy restrictions). Certain activities will not reopen immediately even after Philadelphia reaches the green phase, including casinos, large outdoor events (more than 50 people), theaters and indoor events, and in-person conventions/conferences.
Seyfarth continues to monitor the Wolf Administration’s business-related orders in response to COVID-19 and will provide further updates as available.