UPDATED DECEMBER 31, 2020
MITIGATION UPDATES – DECEMBER 2020
December 30, 2020: Gov. Wolf Announces Lifting of Time Limited Mitigation on Jan. 4. CLICK TO READ.
The PWA will continue to monitor and provide updates as new or more information becomes available. We encourage all wineries to check and submit updates to their visitation status to PWA.
Order includes beginning 12:01 a.m. on December 12, and remaining in effect until 8 a.m. on January 4, 2021:
All in-person indoor dining at businesses in the retail food services industry, including, but not limited to, bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, social clubs, and private catered events is prohibited.
Outdoor dining, take-out food service, and take-out alcohol sales are permitted and may continue, subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law, or this or any other Order issued by the Sec. of Health or by the governor.
Important notes for Pennsylvania wineries relevant to December 10 limited-time mitigation order:
Indoor Consumption: Wineries should suspend sales for on-site indoor consumption and are asked to limit capacity in their retail facility to 50%.
Outdoor Consumption: If you have outdoor space, onsite consumption is still permitted and may continue, subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law, or this or any other Order issued by the Sec. of Health or by the governor.
If you have a tent, it must have TWO (2) or less sides to be considered outdoor space. If your tent has THREE (3) or more sides, it is considered indoors and on-site consumption of alcohol is prohibited.
Indoor Events: Indoor gatherings and events of more than 10 persons are prohibited.
Outdoor Events: Outdoor gatherings and events of more than 50 persons are prohibited.
The PWA will continue to monitor updates on the latest mitigation efforts and restrictions, and alert the industry as necessary.
December 9, 2020: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Expanded to Include Wine Grapes. Deadline for application is FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11. CLICK TO LEARN MORE.
November 23, 2020: COVID-19 Update from Governor’s Office concerning new Mitigation Measures. Click to review.
November 18, 2020: Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Extends 2021 License Fee Waiver To Pennsylvania Wineries, Breweries, And Distilleries. Click for update.
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:
|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)
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.
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
Secretary of Health Signs Expanded Mask-Wearing Order (July 1, 2020)
Secretary’s Mask Order (PDF) (Added July 2, 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.
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.
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
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.
Protocols & Best Practices
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
COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses Flyer (PA Department of Health)
COVID 19: Pennsylvania Information (PA Department of Health)
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)
Cleaning & Sanitizing Resources
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.
Jennifer Eckinger, Executive Director: [email protected]
Jen Munsch, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]
MeeCee Baker: [email protected] or 717-860-8463
Caleb Wright: [email protected] or 717-319-4638
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.