COVID-19 Resources for PA wineries

UPDATED OCTOBER 7, 2020

RECENT UPDATES

Updates regarding tasting of products and the requirement to purchase food.

On October 7, 2020, the PWA was informed that the Governor’s Office has updated the targeted mitigation effort orders to allow manufacturers to allow tastings of products without the purchase of food. This is effective immediately.

Copied directly from the FAQs:

Can breweries, distilleries and wineries still offer tastings?

The Order applies to breweries, distilleries, wineries or any entity which serves alcohol for on-site consumption. Any licensee of the LCB that is otherwise permitted to dispense samples of alcoholic beverages may dispense up to 5 (1oz) samples, without remuneration, regardless of whether a meal is served.

Updated Event Gathering Limitation Guidance

On October 6, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine amended a guidance issued on July 15, increasing the number allowed at discrete gatherings. Previously, indoor events were limited to 25 individuals and 250 for outdoor. The updated guidance makes the following changes:

Maximum Occupancy

Allowable INDOOR Rate
0-2,000 people 20% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people 15% Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 10% of Maximum Occupancy up to 3,750 people
Maximum Occupancy Allowable OUTDOOR Rate
0-2,000 people 25% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people 20% Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people

15% of Maximum Occupancy up to 7,500 people

Masks and social distancing are still required. This guidance is only relative to events (weddings, festivals, etc.) or discrete gatherings, and does not impact day to day operations of businesses such as wineries, cideries, breweries, or restaurants which may seat at 50% capacity if they self-certify, or 25% without certification.

Maximum occupancy is further clarified as the established occupancy limit as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code. Business without an established fire code capacity can determine an approved occupancy at 67 people per 1,000 square feet. Venues are encouraged to contact a local building code official if they are unsure of their occupancy limit.

The text for the amended guidelines and an FAQ is available here.

Self-Certification Form Now Open

The online self-certification form for COVID compliant businesses — addressed to restaurants, but also applying to wineries — is now open on the Pennsylvania COVID website.

Your winery can now show customers and workers that you are protecting their health, safety, and economy by completing the new self-certification form. The online form requires businesses to confirm they are complying with all CDC and state public health guidance and safety requirements. There is no cost to participate. Enrolling in the program is voluntary, and participating businesses receive:

  • Permission to increase indoor dining from 25% to 50% occupancy beginning today
  • A listing on the searchable public Open & Certified Pennsylvania Business Directory
  • Free Open & Certified Pennsylvania signs for your physical location, website, and social media
  • Timely updates, reminders, and alerts for new business guidance and resources

Indoor Seating Capacity Update (Sept. 11)

Governor Wolf has announced updates to the guidance for restaurants relative to COVID-19 mitigation. Based on previous communication, the PWA believes that these updates are relevant to wineries. We have reached out to the Chief Counsel at PLCB to confirm.

Starting September 21st, establishments can begin to seat indoors at 50% capacity instead of the current mandate of 25%, but must first qualify via a self-certification process known as the Open and Certified Pennsylvania program. Businesses that participate will be placed in a searchable online database.

To open to 50% capacity, a business must complete the self-certification process by October 5. The new mandate does require that business serving alcohol close such sales at 10:00 pm. The process includes (from the Press Release):

  • A list of requirements contained in the current restaurant industry guidance and enforcement efforts;
  • A statement that the owner has reviewed and agrees to follow these requirements;
  • The business’ maximum indoor occupancy number based on the fire code; and
  • A statement that the owner understands that the certification is subject to penalties for unsworn falsification to authorities.

Read the Governor’s full Press Release.

As more information is shared, including a link to begin the process, we will post it to this page.

Pennsylvania Provides Clarifying Guidance to PLCB Licensees Regarding Operations During Targeted Mitigation (July 22)

Click here to read Clarifying Guidance

Read the Targeted Mitigation Order (Governor’s Office) and Targeted Mitigation FAQ (PA Dept. of Health).

USDA Rural Development recently summarized its measures to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by COVID-19. The link below includes reminders of nearing deadlines for certain assistance.

USDA COVID-19 Resources – August 28, 2020 (PDF)

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The Pennsylvania Winery Association (PWA) is paying close attention to ongoing developments in the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting our industry statewide. In our role as promoters and advocates for Pennsylvania’s nearly 300 wineries, we are monitoring guidance and directives from the PA Governor’s Office, PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB), and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

The PWA has identified resources to help our wineries navigate through the upcoming phases of re-opening. The information below has been gathered from federal, state, and industry sources.

Wineries should also check with their local health department and relevant authorities for local regulations that may also be in place. Given the evolving status of COVID-19 and business restrictions, we encourage wineries to visit the resource sites below frequently for updates. This information does not constitute legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult with your individual legal advisors as necessary.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

ADDITIONAL RE-OPENING GUIDANCE

Governor’s Office

Secretary of Health Signs Expanded Mask-Wearing Order (July 1, 2020)

Secretary’s Mask Order (PDF) (Added July 2, 2020)

Information on phased re-opening of Pennsylvania from Governor’s Office | Click for phased reopening map (July 3, 2020)

GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES PERMITTED TO OPERATE DURING THE COVID-19 DISASTER EMERGENCY TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC (Updated June 1, 2020)

Restaurant Industry Guidance (Updated June 17, 2020)

Regional Updates & Information

ALLEGHENY COUNTY UPDATE — July 8, 2020:

Below is an update as of July 8, 2020 regarding Allegheny County licensees. The PWA has confirmed that the update and order also applies to wineries operating in Allegheny County.

Allegheny County Mitigation Update
July 8, 2020

Allegheny County officials announced on July 8, that effective July 10 – July 24, restaurants may resume outdoor dining until 11 p.m. The new order also imposes a 3 drink limit per customer and allows indoor events of up to 25 people and outdoor events of up to 50 people.

READ ORDER

Allegheny County officials announced on July 2, effective immediately, additional mitigation efforts were being taken to stem the spread of COVID-19, which included shutting down restaurants, bars, casinos for in-person operation and cancelled all events over 25 people.

Allegheny County officials announced on June 28 that, effective immediately, the sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption was prohibited. Order (Source: Allegheny County)

For additional information, please visit the Allegheny County Health Department COVID-19 website.

PA Liquor Control Board

As of June 18, the PLCB has updated its previously issued guidance for retail, club and manufacturer licensees in “Green” counties, and THE GUIDANCE now addresses requirements and restrictions – including entertainment allowances and limitations – for licensees operating and Green and Yellow counties.

Summary of Act 29 of 2020 – Added June 17, 2020

Advisory Notice 26 – REVISED June 3, 2020 (PDF) – Direction for Licensees in Yellow and Red Zones

Advisory Notice – Act 21 of 2020 (PDF)

Note to wineries regarding Act 21: Only hotel and restaurant license holders who have lost at least 25% of their average monthly sales because of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 emergency declaration, and who are offering meals to go, may sell prepared beverages and mixed drinks to go.

COVID 19 Information for Consumers of Fine Wine & Good Spirits

Protocols & Best Practices

Wine Institute Reopen Protocols (PDF) (Wine Institute)

National Restaurant Association Reopening Guidance (PDF)

Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic Checklist (FDA)

Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic Infographic (FDA)

Farmers Market Resources 

Market Vendor Signs (Penn State Extension)

Market Customer Signs (Penn State Extension)

Market Customer Information (Penn State Extension)

Farm Market Guidance (PA Dept. of Agriculture)

Health & Safety Resources 

FDA Shopping Guidance for Customers  

CDC Business and Workplace Guidance 

OSHA: Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses Flyer (PA Department of Health)

COVID 19: Pennsylvania Information (PA Department of Health)

PA County & Municipal Health Departments (PA Department of Health)

Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Building Safety Measures Effective 4/6/20

Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations Effective 4/19/20

Responding to COVID 19 in Pennsylvania Guide (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)

Responding to COVID 19 for your Business in Pennsylvania (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)

COVID 19 Guidance & Resources for Agriculture (PA Department of Agriculture)

PA Department of Agriculture Resources

COVID 19 Guidance & Resources from the PA Department of Community & Economic Development

Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 (CDC)

Cleaning & Sanitizing Resources

Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (EPA)

CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes – CDC

CDC: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility

CDC: Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting

Important Notice and Disclaimer


The Pennsylvania Winery Association (PWA) disclaims liability for any personal injury, property or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, or reliance on the materials presented herein.

While the PWA strives to make the information within these protocols as timely and accurate as possible, the PWA makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of these protocols, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of these protocols and the materials incorporated herein. All of the information contained in the links are published in good faith and for general information purposes only. All of the information contained in these links is strictly at the user’s own risk. The PWA is not undertaking to render professional or other services for or on behalf of any person or entity. The PWA is not undertaking to perform any duty owed by any person or entity to someone else. Each user of these protocols should rely on his or her own judgment, or as appropriate, seek the advice of a competent professional for assistance.

Additionally, users can find links to other websites and materials from this page of resources. While PWA endeavors to provide only links to useful websites, PWA has no control over the content and nature of these other websites and the links to other websites do not imply a recommendation for all of the content found on those sites.

CLICK HERE FOR AN ARCHIVE OF ADDITIONAL GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS ASSISTANCE RESOURCES

CONTACTS

PWA:

Jennifer Eckinger, Executive Director: [email protected]

Jen Munsch, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]

Versant Strategies:

MeeCee Baker: [email protected] or 717-860-8463

Caleb Wright: [email protected] or 717-319-4638

PRESS INQUIRIES:

SWELL LLC: [email protected] or 215-422-3477 (press 1)

The PWA strongly encourages all customers to contact wineries directly should you need more information on any specific winery’s response and operations plan.

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