Gov. Tom Wolf announced three actions, including online sales of vehicles, which will be enabled by the signing of SB 841, restart of construction projects statewide starting Friday, May 8, and curbside pickup of wine and spirits at select Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board locations.
“Over the past six weeks, Pennsylvanians have come together like never before to halt the spread of COVID-19,” said Wolf. “It has not been easy, but it has paid off. Today, we are taking small steps toward a degree of normalcy. We are allowing curbside pickup of phone orders at PLCB stores and auto sales will be allowed to take place online. On May 8, construction will resume statewide.
“I want to caution that we will not be resuming operations as they were in February. We’re going to continue to take precautions that limit our physical contact with others, and we will closely monitor this to see if it can be done safely.”
These limited steps forward will be closely observed in the coming days and weeks to ensure that they do not result in a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, in which case the governor will use his authority under the emergency disaster declaration to resume restrictions to protect public health and safety.
Vehicle Sales May Be Conducted Online
The governor signed Senate Bill 841 that approves qualified Pennsylvania notaries public to perform remote online notarizations, which will allow auto dealerships to conduct limited car sales and leasing operations through online sales, as a notary is required to complete the transaction. Auto dealerships may continue to remain open for certain activities, such as repairs to passenger and commercial vehicles and sales of auto parts, but in-person car sales or leases are still considered non-life sustaining and remain prohibited at this time.
The bill also:
– Reauthorizes the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and requires it to study the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals and health systems
– Allows local governments to conduct remote public meetings
– Provides property tax relief by allowing taxing districts to waive late fees and penalties for property taxes paid by Dec. 31, 2020
– Allows school districts to renegotiate contracts with service providers to ensure payment of personnel and fixed costs during the school closure
– Allows remote notarization of documents
“This bipartisan legislation gives local governments and businesses additional options to help property taxpayers and address various needs,” Wolf said. “COVID-19 remains a very real threat and each of us needs to continue doing our part to cut back on physical interactions. This new law is a measured and safe way to provide relief as we continue to monitor the spread of the virus.”
Construction With Strict Guidelines Resumes Friday, May 8
Public and private residential and non-residential construction may resume statewide starting Friday, May 8, in accordance with safety guidance that will be issued by the administration shortly. Construction projects already deemed life-sustaining may continue while adhering to social distancing, personnel limits and other guidance as announced by the administration.
PLCB Begins Limited Curbside Pickup
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board began accepting orders by phone for curbside pickup at 176 locations. Phone orders can be placed between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., or until reaching a store’s maximum order capacity each day. Curbside pickups will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. within a few days of order placement. Callers will be guided through each store’s unique inventory. There is a limit of six bottles per order, and credit cards are the only accepted form of payment. At pickup, customers will be required to present identification before the order is delivered.
A list of stores offering curbside pickup is available at FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com. PLCB anticipates expanding the service at more locations in the future. The website is also increasing order capacity.
Curbside sales will serve as a guide to determine whether certain other non-life-sustaining businesses may be able to resume limited operations through curbside pickup, which is currently only permitted for life-sustaining businesses that offer food and pharmaceuticals.
The administration will monitor the implementation of curbside pickup, including the safety of the supply chain, to determine if broader curbside pick up can be done safely and effectively to provide goods and services, while still limiting the amount of person-to-person contact, not just at retail locations but throughout the supply chain.
Additionally, the PLCB recently reopened its Special Order program, which offers items not stocked by the PLCB, in a limited capacity. The program will resume this month only for retail licensees that also have a wine expanded permit, since they are the only retail licensees that can sell wine to go and since all sales and service of on-premises consumption is prohibited until further notice.
All holders of wine expanded permits will be able to order Special Orders beginning Wednesday, April 22, with no limitations to the Special Order catalogue or order size. Licensees will be able to pick up Special Orders from designated PLCB locations beginning Friday, April 24.
Fourteen locations across Pennsylvania, including in Bucks County, have been designated for licensee Special Order deliveries and pickups, by appointments.
PLCB fulfillment facilities for e-commerce orders, curbside pickup and Special Orders are implementing public health best practices to protect employees and customers, including enhanced facility sanitation, social distancing protocols, limiting the number of employees working in any facility at a time, and scheduling customer and licensee pickups.
The PLCB is not considering reopening stores to the public at this time, although it continues to monitor the situation in consultation with the Wolf Administration and public health officials. Visit lcb.pa.gov for more information.
Visit pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19 for the most up-to-date information.