COVID-19: NJ Issues Additional Re-Opening Guidance – Child Care, Horse Racing, Youth Sports, Summer Camps, Non-Essential Retail, Salons and Restaurants – Executive Order 149

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 149 that has eased restrictions on child-care centers, horse racing, organized youth and other non-professional sports, and summer camps for kids.

Child Care:

o Detailed guidance for licensed child-care centers was issued.
o Child-care centers can reopen their doors to the children of non-essential workers on June 15.
o Centers that planned to open needed to alert the state and file an attestation that they would follow the state guidelines for safety and social distancing.
o Inspectors from the department will be visiting centers that reopen.

• Gov. Murphy also announced the administrative order allowing horse racing in New Jersey will resume on Monday, June 1.

o The grandstands at the state tracks will remain closed.
o Betting will take place online only.

Youth day camps (including municipal summer recreation programs) can open July 6.

o Similar safety and social distancing requirements are being formulated by state officials and will be in place in coming weeks.
o Sleep-away and residential camps remain prohibited under the new order.

Organized youth-sport practices can resume June 22.

o The order extends to high school and college sports programs.
o Activities must be conducted outside and for now must be limited to non-contact drills.
o Murphy said no-contact rules and other restrictions will be revisited on an ongoing basis.

• The Governor said that the 10-person limit on people who can gather inside a house of worship in New Jersey will be raised in advance of services conducted on June 12.
o He did not, however, specify what the revised limit would be.
o Murphy said state officials were working with faith leaders to establish guidance to insure congregant safety.

On Monday, June 1st, the Governor followed up EO 149  saying that he will allow restaurants to reopen for outdoor dining and “non-essential” retail to allow indoor customers, starting on June 15.

Personal care operations, such as salons and barbershops, can reopen on June 22, while gyms and health clubs will be able to reopen at some point in the coming weeks on a limited basis.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer, Jimmy Greenberg or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: New PPP Flexibility Act passed in the House of Representatives which focuses on Small Businesses, Hospitality and Restaurants

The new Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) which focuses on small businesses and restaurants in particular has passed the House of Representatives.

The bipartisan Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, was introduced last week by Reps. Dean Phillips, D-Minnesota and Chip Roy, R-Texas, and, is designed to extend the 8-week period under which loan recipients could spend the PPP money to 24 weeks while helping correct other provisions that would provide more flexibility to small businesses in the hospitality realm.

Many hospitality businesses have high overhead costs and low worker salaries, and, as such, will likely struggle to rehire their employees as their businesses have not reopened yet or, if they have reopened, have reopened with a smaller staff due to social distancing requirements for their customers. Additional challenges are presented as some former employees are seeing more income from enhanced unemployment benefits which will also make it difficult to rehire them.

A bipartisan group has already introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Its backers include Sens. Cory Gardner, R- Colorado, Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, Steve Daines, R-Montana, Angus King, I-Maine, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan.

The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act would:

• Extend the “covered period” under which small businesses can spend the loan proceeds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks or until Dec. 31, 2020.

Expand the 25% cap to use PPP funds on non-payroll expenses, such as rent, mortgage interest and utilities, to 40% of the total loan. Currently, small businesses must use at least 75% of the loan for payroll expenses to get maximum forgiveness, but under the bill that would change to 60% to get maximum forgiveness.

• Give small businesses more time to rehire employees or to obtain forgiveness for the loan if social distancing guidelines and health-related actions from the CDC or other agencies prevented the business from operating at the same capacity as it had before March 1.

• Allow small businesses to take a PPP loan and also qualify for a separate, recently enacted tax credit to defer payroll taxes, currently prohibited to prevent “double dipping.”

Remove the limits on loan forgiveness for small businesses that were unable to rehire employees, hire new employees or return to the same level of business activity as before the virus.

Extend the loan terms for any unforgiven portions that need to be repaid from 2 years to 5 years, at 1% interest.

Extend the period for when a business can apply for loan forgiveness, from within 6 months to within 10 months of the last day of the covered period, before it must start making interest and principal payments. Under the new bill, PPP loan interest and payment of principal and fees will be deferred until the loan is forgiven by the lender.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Sandra Stoneman and Nanette Heide or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: Philadelphia follows PA lead and Begins Re-Opening Process for Restaurants effective May 26, 2020; Lifts Stay at Home Order effective June 5th

As of May 26, 2020, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney amended his earlier business closure and stay-at-home orders and will now permit up to 10 people to line up to order at restaurants and food establishments. Dine-in service is still prohibited, and face coverings and social distancing guidelines are required.

The amendment follows Gov. Tom Wolf’s announced plans last week to move all Pennsylvania counties, including the five-county Philadelphia region, to the yellow phase of reopening and lift stay-at-home orders by June 5.

The yellow phase calls for telework to continue where possible, but allows for businesses to reopen with social distancing and other health and safety guidelines in place. Schools remain closed for in-person instruction, as does indoor recreation, gyms, health and fitness centers and entertainment venues. The yellow phase also allows for the reopening of in-person retail.

A copy of Mayor Kenney’s Order can be found here – Business closure revision 5-26

Philadelphia has begun to relax restrictions on restaurants and food vendors, recently permitting the sale of to-go cocktails.

The City of Philadelphia will release guidance and planning for business re-openings later this week.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, David Augustin, and Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

 

COVID-19: PA permits reopening of Real Estate Businesses per Published Guidelines

On May 19th, Governor Tom Wolf announced that businesses and employees in the real estate industry may conduct limited business-related activities statewide and provided guidance for this industry to operate in red phase and yellow phase counties.

Previously, businesses and employees in the real estate industry were permitted to conduct limited in-person activities in counties in the yellow phase of the commonwealth’s phased reopening plan.

The real estate guidance https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200519-Real-Estate-Guidance.pdf requires businesses and employees to follow all applicable provisions of the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public, which includes provisions requiring that every person present at a work site, business location, or property offered for sale, wear masks/face coverings, and provisions requiring the establishment of protocols for execution upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

All in-person activities are supposed to be scheduled and limited to no more than the real estate professional and 2 people inside a property at any time, exercising appropriate social distancing.

When conducting settlements/closings the guidance suggests utilizing remote notary, powers of attorney or the exchange of contract documents electronically or by mail wherever possible. Where it is not possible to conduct settlement/ closing via remote notary or POA, attendance in-person is required to be limited to required signatories and their legal counsel or real estate professional only, and steps to preserve social distancing must be followed to the maximum extent possible.

Businesses and employees are also encouraged to provide sellers with relevant safety information and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing properties; utilize electronic marketing as much as possible; provide all individuals at an in-person activity with a verbal health screening; stagger scheduling of property showings; avoid physical contact with the property by staging in advance to prevent the need for interaction with items like lights, interior doors, drapes and blinds; and minimize time spent in the property by having discussions away from the property via remote means.

The Governor also vetoed House Bill 2412, stating that the Bill did not provide enough safety protocols for the COVID-19 public health crisis. Further, the legislation would have placed restrictions on municipalities related to property transfers; specifically, it would have eliminated a municipality’s ability to issue use and occupancy permits and conduct safety inspections, which are conditions of a property transfer.

To read the Governor’s Order – https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200519-TWW-Business-Closure-Amendment.pdf

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, David Augustin, and Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ continues Reopening Program permitting additional Outdoor Activities and Businesses to Open on Friday 5-22-20 – Executive Order 147

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 147 (“EO”), allowing certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses, including archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, shooting ranges, and tennis clubs as well as community gardens to open with required social distancing measures in place. The EO takes effect on Friday, May 22 at 6:00 a.m.

Outdoor Recreational Businesses: To limit physical interactions, the EO requires outdoor recreational businesses that reopen to limit capacity to 10 people at one time and implement reasonable restrictions that include:

• Using electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
• Prohibiting impermissible gatherings;
• Installing physical barriers between employees and customers;
• Limiting the use of equipment to one person;
• Implementing social distancing measures in commonly used areas, including demarcation and signage;
• Infection control and hygiene practices;
• Providing sanitization materials to employees;
• Frequent sanitization of high-touch areas; and
• Limiting occupancy of restrooms.

Community Gardens: Governor Murphy’s EO permits community gardens to reopen so long as they comply with the same restrictions implemented at parks under Executive Order No. 133.

All-Terrain Vehicle and Dirt Bike Rental Businesses: The Order allows all-terrain vehicle and dirt bike rental businesses to reopen to the public for “curb-side” pickup. Such businesses must comply with the same restrictions required for non-essential retail businesses.

Golf Courses: The EO relaxes four of the restrictions on golf courses, allowing them to expand tee-times to four players, allow the use of forecaddies, offer club and equipment rentals, and reopen restrooms with disinfecting and hygiene protocols in place.

The EO also recommends, but does not order, that people wear a face covering while in public settings at outdoor recreational businesses and community gardens when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The EO further clarifies that amusements parks and arcades, and other places of public amusement located at these businesses remain closed, including places of public amusement that are located at a place otherwise authorized to be open by any executive order issued after March 21, 2020, such as a boardwalk.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg and Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: On 5-18-20, Massachusetts issues Reopen Massachusetts, permitting Construction, Manufacturing and Places of Worship to reopen

On May 18th, the Governor of Massachusetts released Reopening Massachusetts, which provides for a 4-phased strategy to reopen businesses and activities in Massachusetts. The Administration also released a new “Safer At Home” Advisory, which instructs residents to stay at home unless engaging in these newly opened activities. Starting 5-18-2020, Massachusetts will begin Phase 1 of reopening, and workplaces that are permitted to open are required to follow new safety protocols and guidance.

Safer at Home Advisory:

Effective 5-18-2020, the Department of Public Health also updated the Stay at Home Advisory, replacing it with a new, “Safer at Home” Advisory. The new Safer at Home Advisory instructs residents to stay home unless they are headed to a newly opened facility or activity. It also advises those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions to stay home with the exception of trips required for health care, groceries, or that are otherwise absolutely necessary.

All residents are required to wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible, and individuals are advised to wash their hands frequently and be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms. Restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people remain in effect.

Phase 1 Reopening:

Based on public health metrics, manufacturing facilities and construction sites will open effective 5-18-2020 with applicable guidelines.

Places of worship will be able to open with guidelines that require social distancing and encourage services to be held outdoors.

Hospitals and community health centers that attest to specific public health and safety standards can begin to provide high priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high risk patients.

Under a staggered approach, additional Phase 1 sectors of the economy will be permitted to open effective May 25 including:

• Lab space;
• Office space;
• Limited personal services, including: hair salons, pet grooming, car washes;
• Retail: remote fulfillment and curbside pick-up;

Also permitted to open on May 25 with applicable guidelines, are the following:

• Beaches;
• Parks;
• Drive-in movie theaters;
• Select athletic fields and courts;
• Many outdoor adventure activities;
• Most fishing, hunting, and boating;
• Outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves, and public installations.

Additional sectors expected to open on June 1 as part of Phase 1 include office spaces in the city of Boston with applicable guidelines.

Reopening Massachusetts In Phases:

• Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer before moving to the next phase;
• If public health data trends are negative, specific industries, regions, and/or the entire Commonwealth may need to return to an earlier phase;
• The Commonwealth will partner with industries to draft sector-specific protocols in advance of future phases (example: restaurant-specific protocols will be drafted in advance of Phase 2);

Success in earlier phases will refine criteria for future phases including travel, sizes of gatherings, as well as additional retail openings, lodging and accommodations, arts, entertainment, fitness centers, museums, restaurants, youth sports, and other activities.

Industry-Specific Guidance:

Businesses are not required to reopen, and may not do so if they are unable to follow safety protocols. The Baker-Polito Administration has developed industry specific guidance. Businesses are expected to implement these protocols in addition to the more general Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.

As of May 18, materials for the sectors eligible to open in the first phase of reopening are included on the mass.gov/reopening website. Guidance for sectors opening in later phases will be posted online in advance of those phases.

In order to reopen, businesses must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Required materials are located on mass.gov/reopening, and include detailed sector-specific circulars and checklists to facilitate compliance.

Self-Certification for Businesses:

Required materials for businesses to self-certify are located on mass.gov/reopening, and include:

• COVID-19 Control Plan template, which must be retained on premises and provided in the event of an inspection;
• Compliance Attestation poster to be posted in a location visible to employees and visitors indicating a completed COVID-19 Control Plan; and,
• Other posters and signs describing rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, as well as cleaning and disinfecting.

Businesses operating to provide Essential Services, as defined in the Governor’s March 23, 2020 Executive Order, updated on March 31, April 28, and May 15, may remain open and have until May 25, 2020 to comply with the general workplace safety standards, as well as their industry’s sector-specific protocols.

Health Care:

Effective May 18, hospitals and community health centers who attest to meeting specific capacity criteria and public health/safety standards will be allowed to resume a limited set of in-person preventative, diagnostic and treatment services.

Effective May 25, other health care providers who attest to meeting these standards may resume limited in-person services.

Services that may be performed are limited, based on the provider’s clinical judgment to high-priority preventative services, including pediatric care, immunizations, and chronic disease care for high-risk patients, and urgent procedures that cannot be delivered remotely and would lead to high risk or significant worsening of the patient’s condition if deferred.

In order for the phased in hospital expansion and non-hospital reopening, the following statewide metrics must be met:

• 30 percent of hospital ICU beds (including staffed surge capacity) must be available;
• 30 percent of total hospital beds (including staffed surge capacity) must be available.
As a precursor, health care providers must meet the following requirements to reopen or expand services, which include:

• Attesting to public health standards and specific guidelines;
• Ensuring adequate personal protective equipment is on hand, reliable supply chain and other supplies and policies in place;
• Infection control readiness (workflow, cleaning, social distancing, etc.);
• Workforce and patient screening and testing protocols; and,
• Hospitals must have ≥ 25 percent ICU and total bed capacity and reopen pediatric ICU and psychiatric beds if they had been repurposed for surge capacity.

Child Care:

Child care and summer recreation camps will reopen in a phased approach. The initial reopening plan will focus on families who have no safe alternative to group care by increasing emergency child care capacity.

Transit:

• MBTA riders are required to wear face coverings and must make efforts to distance. Riders are asked to avoid riding transit if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19;
• Employers are encouraged to stagger schedules and implement work from home policies to reduce demand, especially during rush hours;
• The MBTA will take protective and preventative measures such as frequently disinfecting and cleaning vehicles and stations and providing protective supplies to workers.

Supplies:

In order to operate, all Massachusetts businesses will need to meet the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards and relevant Sector-Specific Protocols published by the state. To support businesses, the state has developed a guide to educate business owners on what supplies are needed to return to workplaces, and a portal to connect businesses with manufacturers and distributors. These are now available to business owners via mass.gov/reopening.

While face coverings are deemed to be critical, medical grade face coverings are not necessary for non-health care workers.

Schools and Higher Education:

As previously announced, Massachusetts’ K-12 school buildings will remain closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year, with remote teaching and learning in place.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Daniel Pierce or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ Gov signs 4 New Bills into law – continuing to open more businesses throughout the state – Mixed Drinks; Water Craft; Hospital Visitations; Local Government Meetings

Governor Murphy announced that he’s signed 4 new bills into law that allow more New Jersey businesses to reopen.

Fishing – fishing charters and watercraft rentals are permitted to reopen at 6 a.m on Sunday, May 17th.

Under the bill, charter boats and watercraft rentals are permitted to resume operations as long as social distancing is observed, sanitation is maintained, online payments systems are set up and passenger and customer logs are preserved for the purposes of contact tracing.

Alcohol – authorized the sale and delivery of mixed drinks.

Bill A3966 which was signed into law permits hotels, motels, bars and restaurants to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages and mixed cocktails in original containers or in closed and sealed containers. The bill also allows craft distillery licensees to sell for consumption.

Governor Murphy also signed these bills into law:

A-3942/S-2394 (Mukherji, Vainieri Huttle, Pintor Marin/Greenstein, Stack) – Requires hospital to permit individual to accompany woman during childbirth.

A-3969/S-2392 (Danielsen, Mukherji, Verrelli/Sarlo) – Allows extension of certain local government timeframes; allows local governments to accept certain payments; allows local governments to conduct certain meetings remotely; adjusts certain property tax distribution and notice requirements.

S-2344/A-3970 (Pou, Singer, Vitale/Reynolds-Jackson, Quijano, Zwicker) – Requires Medicaid and health insurance coverage for certain refills of prescription drugs during state of emergency.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg. Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: NJ announces plan for the Restart of Non-Essential Construction and the Curbside Reopening of Non-Essential Retail Stores – Monday, May 18th

On May 13, Governor Murphy announced the permissible reopening of nonessential retail stores for curbside pick up, and drive thru attractions, as well as the authorization for nonessential construction to resume. For the full text of the Executive Order please see https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-142.pdf

The actions include:

• Allowing the restart of Non-Essential Construction, subject to social distancing and mitigation protocols, effective on 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18th and includes all types of construction previously shut down under Executive Order 122.

• Allowing Non-Essential Retail to start curbside pick-up starting at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18 for all non-essential retail establishments previously closed under Executive Order 107 and is available by both vehicle and on foot.

• Vehicle gatherings are permitted effective immediately, subject to certain social distancing requirements. This includes drive-in or drive-through events such as movie theaters, church services, and farms.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Jimmy Greenberg and Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: SBA issues new Guidance on PPP Loans – Deemed Good Faith Certification Safe Harbor for Certain Loans

Earlier today, the SBA released FAQ 46 to its existing FAQ fact sheet, which addresses how the SBA will review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their PPP loan applications.

The full text of FAQ 46 can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf)

46. Question: How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request?

Answer: When submitting a PPP application, all borrowers must certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.”

SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has determined that the following safe harbor will apply to SBA’s review of PPP loans with respect to this issue: Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.

SBA has determined that this safe harbor is appropriate because borrowers with loans below this threshold are generally less likely to have had access to adequate sources of liquidity in the current economic environment than borrowers that obtained larger loans. This safe harbor will also promote economic certainty as PPP borrowers with more limited resources endeavor to retain and rehire employees. In addition, given the large volume of PPP loans, this approach will enable SBA to conserve its finite audit resources and focus its reviews on larger loans, where the compliance effort may yield higher returns.

Importantly, borrowers with loans greater than $2 million that do not satisfy this safe harbor may still have an adequate basis for making the required good-faith certification, based on their individual circumstances in light of the language of the certification and SBA guidance.

The SBA has previously stated that all PPP loans in excess of $2 million, and other PPP loans as appropriate, will be subject to review by SBA for compliance with program requirements set forth in the PPP Interim Final Rules and in the Borrower Application Form. If SBA determines in the course of its review that a borrower lacked an adequate basis for the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request, SBA will seek repayment of the outstanding PPP loan balance and will inform the lender that the borrower is not eligible for loan forgiveness. If the borrower repays the loan after receiving notification from SBA, SBA will not pursue administrative enforcement or referrals to other agencies based on its determination with respect to the certification concerning necessity of the loan request. SBA’s determination concerning the certification regarding the necessity of the loan request will not affect SBA’s loan guarantee.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Nanette Heide, Sandra Stoneman or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

 

COVID-19: PA Insurance Department Warns of Risks, Increased Liability and Lack of Insurance Coverage due to Non-Compliance of Business Closure Orders

Earlier today on May 11th, PA Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman reminded businesses of the importance of complying with Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s orders – for counties in both the red and yellow phases.

In addition to the critical public health objectives, Commissioner Altman warned non-compliant businesses defying the governor and secretary’s business closure orders that many insurance policies contain provisions that exclude coverage for businesses or individuals engaging in illegal acts or conduct. These exclusions may apply to property coverage, liability coverage, advertising injury coverage, and a host of other essential coverages.

“Businesses and residents rely on insurance coverage to protect them from liability, pay for covered losses, and compensate those who may be injured or harmed,” said Altman. “It is the duty of every business and resident in Pennsylvania to ensure that they and the public at large are provided with the maximum level of protection afforded by insurance. Any actions that could potentially create coverage gaps are the antitheses of the civil duty required of all residents during these times of emergency.”

This reminder was offered to all Pennsylvania businesses and residents, regardless of in what county they reside.

Comments were also directed at restaurants and their liquor licenses – reminding PA restaurant owners that restaurants that reopen for dine-in service in counties that have not been authorized to reopen will be at risk of losing their liquor license.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Dominica Anderson, Eve Klein, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!