Skip to Content

Pennsylvania Delays (Until March 23) Enforcement of Order Closing Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses

On March 22, 2020 by Schnader in Labor and Employment

Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center here for additional guidance.

Pennsylvania has delayed enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order that all non-life-sustaining businesses close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement is now set to begin at 8 a.m. March 23, 2020. Governor Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close at 8 p.m. March 19.

In issuing the order, the Wolf Administration released a chart identifying which businesses could, and could not, remain open. A day later, the Governor released an amended chart. The amended list of life-sustaining and non-life sustaining businesses released on March 20, 2020 is at

Pennsylvania delayed enforcement until March 23 because a large number of businesses have requested a waiver from Governor Wolf’s order. Businesses can get a waiver application through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website or may contact the Department of Community and Economic Development at or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH and selecting option 1. For businesses that determine from the list that they are non-life sustaining, but would like to seek a waiver, there is an online waiver application –

Additional information can be found at Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Response website at

Governor Wolf issued an initial order on March 16 that contained a significant number of exemptions and did not include an enforcement mechanism. Businesses that continue to operate in defiance of the order may be subject to enforcement actions brought by various law enforcement agencies on behalf of the Commonwealth.