Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday shuttered all real estate agent and brokers’ offices in the state as part of a sweeping edict to all “non life-sustaining” businesses to close.
The order covers “lessors of real estate,” “real estate agents and brokers,” and “activities related to real estate,” including open houses and settlements. It also includes residential construction.
“To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” said Gov. Wolf. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.”
The governor posted a five-page yes/no checklist of whether a business is deemed “life-sustaining” in Pennsylvania.
Businesses deemed life-sustaining include farms, oil and gas extraction, several manufacturing categories (food, oil, gas, steel, etc.), hardware, food, car parts, alcohol, transportation, journalism, hospitals, waste treatment and more.
In addition to real estate, non life-sustaining industries include logging, coal mining, textile mills, automobile and boat manufacturing, auto dealers, and most retail stores.
The governor’s office said the ban will be enforced with citations, fines or license suspensions. Businesses and organizations that do not comply also will not be eligible to receive disaster relief.