Order for Pennsylvanians to wear masks inside essential businesses now in effect

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Monday marks the first full day that Pennsylvanians are required to wear masks inside essential businesses.

The order is part of Governor Tom Wolf's effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"If it's going to protect us from catching the disease or catching any kind of sickness, it's necessary," said Overbook Park resident Pete Sullivan.

Businesses are ordered to deny entry to any customers who are not wearing a mask, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business must provide alternative methods of pick-up or delivery of goods.

RELATED: Pennsylvania stay at home order to remain in effect until May 8; some restrictions to be eased

"In terms of using a mask, my mask protects you and your mask protects me," said Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Health Secretary.

Exceptions include people who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition and children under two years old.

"I think it's good because it's protecting everybody, and you don't know if people are coming out and they're sick," said Debbie Collins of Broomall.

RELATED: Mother & daughter nurse team takes on COVID-19 at Temple University Hospital

One customer shopping at Lowe's in Havertown said he was disappointed because he saw customers inside not wearing masks, even though employees were giving free masks away at the entrance.

"They should be covered," said Mike Trerotola of Morton. "They're handing them out at the front door, it's free. Get a mask put it on your face. I don't like wearing it but you have to. I don't want to get sick, I don't want my family to get sick."

The order also requires businesses to stagger start and stop times for workers; provide sufficient space for breaks and meals to maintain social distancing; prohibit non-essential visitors, and more.

This order comes two weeks after Governor Wolf recommended everyone wear masks whenever they leave their homes. The difference now is that it is a requirement to wear a mask when entering a store, whereas it's a recommendation to wear one every time you leave the house.

The order, announced by Governor Tom Wolf, was signed by Secretary of Health Rachel Levine.


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