Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Certain coronavirus-related travel and business restrictions remain in effect in Pennsylvania, US, as of early July.

  • Alert Begins: 09 Jul 2020 11:43 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 20 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Pennsylvania (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel restrictions, business disruptions

Summary
As of July 9, authorities in Pennsylvania have issued restrictions for travelers entering the commonwealth from certain US states, as part of the administration's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Anyone traveling from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Utah must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Pennsylvania. The list of states may change in the coming days depending on COVID-19 activity. Additionally, travelers from Delaware, Iowa, and Oklahoma will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days if entering Philadelphia Country.

Nevertheless, authorities are continuing to ease business restrictions statewide. As of July 3, all counties in Pennsylvania are in Phase Green of the commonwealth's three-tier economic recovery plan. Under this phase, which indicates the highest level of normalization, retail stores and businesses that are not customer-facing can operate at 75-percent capacity. Restaurants and bars can offer dine-in services at 50-percent capacity. Personal care businesses, such as barbershops and hair salons, can operate by appointment only at 50-percent capacity. Entertainment venues, including theaters, cinemas, and casinos, gyms, fitness clubs, and indoor recreation centers may operate at 50-percent capacity. Childcare centers are allowed to open, and all construction projects may resume. Gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed.

However, local authorities have the power to tighten restrictions if they consider it necessary. Additional local business restrictions and limitations on public gatherings remain in force in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.

State authorities urge businesses that have been able to operate with employees working from home, to continue doing so. Those open for in-person services must comply with strict mandates aimed at preventing the further spread of COVID-19, including limitations on operating capacity, use of face coverings or other personal protective equipment, and enforcement of social distancing guidelines, among other things. Most outdoor recreational facilities can operate. Essential businesses and services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and fuel stations, have not been subject to mandatory COVID-19-related closures.

Business disruptions remain likely. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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