Below are state-specific updates on Executive Orders which have been issued in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware which affect the operations of businesses during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
On March 21, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 107, which directs New Jersey residents to "stay home" with limited exceptions in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 virus within the State.
Executive Order 107 further expands restrictions on public outings, prohibits gatherings for parties and celebrations, and requires all New Jersey residents to remain at home or their place of residence with limited exceptions.
Governor Murphy also ordered non-essential retail businesses to close their physical premises. The Executive Order specifically states that only "Essential Businesses" can remain open. The list of the types of businesses that are deemed "Essential" and therefore are exempt from closure in the State of New Jersey can be found at: https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-107.pdf
In addition, the Executive Order permits restaurants, cafeterias, dining establishments, food courts, bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges to operate during their regular business hours, but can only offer food delivery and/or take-out services.
All businesses or non-profits must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home wherever practicable. If there is a need for employees to be on-site, businesses should operate with the minimum number of on-site employees needed for critical operations to continue.
Moreover, if you believe your retail business is unique and should be considered as an "Essential Business," you can submit a request to the Superintendent of State Police who also serves as the State Director of Emergency Management.
New York’s Governor Cuomo also signed a similar Executive Order on March 20, 2020, with an effective date of March 22, 2020. New York Executive Order No. 202.6 requires a 100% reduction of in-person workers in non-essential businesses in New York.
Governor Cuomo has identified the types of businesses, which are “Essential” in the State of New York and can be found at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-issues-guidance-essential-services-under-new-york-state-pause-executive-order
A business owner can file a request with the State of New York if the business does not fall within one of the categories listed above for a designation as an essential business by completing a form on the New York State website at: https://esd.ny.gov/
On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf ordered the closure of the physical locations of businesses that are not critical to sustaining life in a pandemic. Enforcement actions were to be taken against non-life sustaining businesses that are out of compliance effective March 23, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. The six-page list sorting business types into those that may or may not continue physical operations is available at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website:
The categories of business identified on the list were drawn from the North American Business Classification System. Businesses can determine whether they are life-sustaining by checking the list above and determining their NAIC classification or by checking here.
Non-life-sustaining businesses can apply for a waiver to remain open. More information and applications for waivers can be found at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website:
On March 23, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an Executive Order requiring individuals residing in Allegheny County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County to stay at home except as needed to access, support, or provide life-sustaining business, emergency, or government services. For employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open, the following child care services may remain open: group and family child care providers in a residence; child care facilities operating under a waiver granted by the Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning; and, part-day school-age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders. The Stay at Home Order commenced at 8:00 p.m. on March 23, 2020.
On March 24, 2020, Governor Wolf amended his Order to include Erie County, and the amended Order commenced on March 24, 2020, at 8:00 p.m.
For the identified counties, the following individual tasks are allowed:
The following essential travel is allowed:
The following operations are exempt from the Order:
For now, the Stay At Home Orders will be in effect until April 6, 2020.
On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Governor John Carney issued the fourth and fifth modifications to his State of Emergency declaration, ordering Delawareans to stay at home whenever possible and closing all non-essential businesses. The Orders went into effect at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. They will remain in effect until May 15, 2020, or until the public health threat is eliminated.
Delaware’s list of essential and non-essential businesses can be found at the State of Delaware website:
Included with the descriptions in the list is the relevant 4-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. All businesses should have a NAICS code or codes on their unemployment insurance forms or on their most recent tax return that can be compared to the list to determine their classification as essential or non-essential.
Businesses with questions are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-577-8477 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. with any additional questions.
Chelsea R. Seidel