Re-Opening Your Business? Follow Governor Wolf’s Orders to Avoid Potential Consequences

On Monday, Governor Tom Wolf issued a press release imploring Pennsylvanians to “stay the course” in the wake of his decision to move 24 counties into the yellow phase, with 13 counties joining the yellow-phase this Friday.

All counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, except Beaver County, are among the 13 additional counties to move into the yellow phase on Friday at 12:01 a.m. As many business owners begin to open their doors, business professionals should keep in mind that Governor Wolf and his office will be closely monitoring businesses who begin operating in the yellow phase and will re-impose restrictions if danger arises. While in-person operations are permitted for some businesses, business professionals should review the requirements found in Pennsylvania’s Guidance for Businesses, found here, to avoid any risk of criminal penalties and licensing consequences, such as losing health department certificates, liquor licenses, and/or occupancy permits.

Expounding on Governor Wolf’s press release with respect to businesses finding themselves uninsured, the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner warned that coverage gaps may arise if non-compliant businesses defy Governor Wolf’s orders. Commissioner Jessica Altman’s press release can be found here. Maintaining insurance coverage in any phase should remain a crucial priority for businesses, as many insureds seek to require their insurers provide business interruption coverage for losses due to the coronavirus outbreak. In the meantime, insureds that have suffered losses or face liability should document what has occurred, mitigate losses, communicate with their insurer, broker and law firm, review their policies, and scrutinize renewal policies for changes related to COVID-19.

For any concerns or questions about re-opening your business or preparing a re-entry plan, please contact Alexis K. McGann at [email protected], any member of the Corporate & Business Law Group, or any other Meyer, Unkovic & Scott attorney with whom you have worked.

This material is for informational purposes only.  It is not and should not be solely relied on as legal advice in dealing with any specific situation.
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