This post has been updated to reflect the latest orders from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the City of Philadelphia. As the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly changing, business restrictions are subject to change at any time. For the latest information, be sure to check

In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the City of Philadelphia is further restricting certain business activities. The City issued a new Business Activity and Stay at Home Order detailing restrictions on business activity, personal activity,  and congregation in Philadelphia in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These new restrictions take effect Monday, March 23, 2020, at 8 a.m.

We recognize the major impact that these policies will have on businesses and workers, but we urge everyone to observe these new restrictions so that the threat of the virus can be contained. All businesses must do their part to help protect Philadelphians, especially those who are more vulnerable and adhere to social distancing Rules.

Philadelphians will still be able to access life-sustaining goods and services in the next two weeks. Businesses that need clarification on whether they are defined as life-sustaining should review the City’s new Order which is consistent with orders issued to businesses by the Pennsylvania Governor’s office.

Examples of businesses that are permitted to remain open are:

  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and mini markets.
  • Restaurants providing food through delivery or pickup, drive-through, and online or phone ordering. Walk-in ordering and dine-in services are prohibited.
  • Auto-repair shops.
  • Gas stations, auto repair shops, and bicycle repair shops.
  • Hardware stores (lawn and garden stores are excluded).
  • Pharmacies.
  • Stores supplying life-sustaining electrical, plumbing, heating, automotive parts, and other life-sustaining materials.
  • Home healthcare services.
  • Post Offices and package delivery services.
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners.
  • Banks and credit unions using drive-through, ATM, and limited lobby services.
  • Post Offices.
  • Veterinary clinics and pet stores.
  • Hotels.
  • Emergency Home/Commercial building repairs.
  • Any business that is operating virtually or remotely without physical contact with the public or other workers.

Read the City’s guidance for essential businesses and organizations.

Examples of businesses that cannot operate during this time period include:

  • Movie theaters.
  • Clothing stores.
  • Fitness clubs.
  • Art and music venues.
  • Night clubs.
  • Bars.
  • Amusement facilities.
  • Event halls.
  • Personal care salons (hair, nails).
  • Car dealerships.
  • Furniture stores.
  • Shopping malls.

For a complete listing of businesses permitted to remain open and operate, please refer to this list from the Pennsylvania Governor’s office and the City’s most recent order.

If your business is not listed as life-sustaining, you should assume that keeping your business open to the public is prohibited.

If a business deemed non-life-sustaining believes it could help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis by providing a life-sustaining service, it can seek an exemption from the Commonwealth. Businesses can seek a waiver from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) by filling out this form.

Understand that the City of Philadelphia is not requiring any business to stay open. Any business who wishes to close to stop the spread of COVID-19 is allowed to do so, even if they have been listed as essential.

The City’s emergency restrictions no longer end on Friday, March 27. To align with the Governor’s order, the City’s order remains in effect until further notice.

Tell us about the impact COVID-19 is having on your business

Business owners in Philadelphia can complete this brief survey to tell us how their businesses are being impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

The survey is available in following languages:

Additional Guidance

If you believe that a business establishment should be closed but is not, please call Philly311 by dialing 3-1-1 or 215-686-8686, or submitting a request on 311’s app

If you need help determining if your business is considered essential or non-essential please email or

If you are a business owner and would like to receive information about business relief programs please email Additional resources compiled by the State of Pennsylvania can be found here.

Click here for information and resources for businesses affected by COVID-19.