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Pennsylvania will begin gradual easing of covid-19 restrictions May 8

Governor Tom Wolf said Monday that he will extend his stay-at-home order until May 8, and begin a gradual reopening of the economy by allowing online vehicle sales and notaries, limited construction, and possibly lifting stay-at-home orders in some rural counties.

“Over the past six weeks, Pennsylvanians have come together like never before to halt the spread of covid-19,” said Gov. Wolf. “It has not been easy, but it has paid off.”

The governor said he would sign Senate Bill 841 later today that approves remote online notarizations, allowing auto dealerships to conduct limited car sales and leasing operations through online sales. Auto dealerships may continue to remain open for certain activities, such as repairs to passenger and commercial vehicles and sales of auto parts, but not in-person car sales or leases.

Public and private residential and non-residential construction may resume statewide starting May 8, in accordance with safety guidance that will be issued by the administration shortly.

And the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today began accepting orders by phone for curbside pickup at 176 locations, including New Hope.

Officials said curbside sales at Fine Wine and Good Spirits Shoppes 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.

“I want to caution that we will not be resuming operations as they were in February,” said Gov. Wolf of the announced actions. “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.”

Separately, Gov. Wolf on Monday vetoed legislation approved in the General Assembly along party lines that would have allowed more Pennsylvania businesses to resume operations, as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the state Capitol for a rally to “reopen” Pennsylvania.

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