Philadelphia officials are cracking down on businesses that were ordered to close amid the novel coronavirus pandemic but still remained open.
On Monday, Philadelphia ordered all nonessential businesses to close, including clothing stores, fitness centers, movie theaters, and shopping malls. Despite this, several of those businesses were still open in Philly after the order was made, including the Philadelphia Mills Mall.
“I want to actually thank all the businesses that have closed per our order,” Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said Wednesday. “They have shown that they are responsible and take our concerns about the public to heart. Unfortunately there are some that continue to operate.”
Philadelphia Mills eventually closed after police and L&I officials arrived. Abernathy warned that other nonessential businesses that remained open would receive a similar visit.
“If you can’t be responsible, we will be responsible for you,” Abernathy said. “The health of our citizens is of the upmost importance and we will not take this lightly.”
The city will issue a warning to a nonessential business that remains open. If they're still operating by the next day, police and city inspectors will shut it down.
The city will continue to force the new rule and anyone who spots a business still open can report it to Philadelphia’s 311 hotline.