With Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order going in effect Monday at 8 p.m., there might be questions about what exactly that means.
“Don’t leave your home unless someone’s life depends on your leaving,” Wolf said in a Monday press conference. “Because ultimately, someone’s life does depend on you staying home. This virus is sneaky. You get it before you know you have it.”
The stay-at-home order covers Allegheny County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.
It run from Monday at 8 p.m. until Monday, April 6.
See the business closure order enforcement guidance issued to law enforcement available online.
Below are the details on what is allowed and what isn’t, per the state:
Allowable Activities and Travel
Allowable Individual Activities
Individuals may leave their residence ONLY to perform any of the following allowable individual
activities and allowable essential travel.
- Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.
- Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, or to
deliver those services or supplies to others, such as getting food and household consumer
products, pet food, and supplies necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential
operation of residences. This includes volunteer efforts to distribute meals and other life-sustaining services to those in need.
- Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing.
- To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business (see below for details about life-sustaining business activities).
- To care for a family member or pet in another household.
Allowable Essential Travel
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities (see below for details about life-sustaining business activities).
- Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable
- Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
- Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction.
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order.
- Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth.
Life-sustaining Business Activities
Life-sustaining business activities are exempt from this policy. On March 19, Governor Wolf ordered the closure of the physical locations of businesses that are not critical to sustaining life in a pandemic.
Businesses can determine whether they are considered a life-sustaining business, and are therefore
allowed to continue in-person, physical operations, by first referring to the Governor’s Order and the list of life-sustaining business which is available here. This list has been updated to conform with guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure issued by the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory.
If the answer remains unclear, businesses may email the Department of Community and Economic
Development (DCED) for further assistance at the following email account: firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries
will be answered as promptly as possible.
Businesses that are ordered closed but believe they could help mitigate this crisis by providing a life-sustaining service may apply for a waiver to re-open.
This exemption is subject to continuance of and compliance with the social distancing and other mitigation measures to protect employees and the public, including virtual and telework operations (e.g. work from home) as the primary option when available.
State and Local Governments
Governments should use best judgment in exercising their authorities and issuing implementation
directives and guidance. All such decisions should appropriately balance public health and safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical services and functions. Government employees and contractors should continue to operate under the direction of their supervisors.
Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
Individuals experiencing homelessness are not subject to this policy but are strongly urged to find shelter and government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for those individuals.
International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt from this policy and may remain in campus housing.
Additionally, nothing in this policy shall be construed to affect the operations of:
- Health care or medical service providers.
- Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including, but not limited to, food banks.
- Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders.
- The news media.
- Law enforcement.
- The federal government.
- Religious institutions.