The U.S. federal government has issued guidance to state and local governments to include the vehicle service and repair industry in the definition of essential services for the purposes of emergency orders that require non-essential businesses to close.
Released on March 19th, The Department of Homeland Security memorandum entitled “MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE” includes a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” “to help State and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”
Of major importance to the auto care industry, the document includes the list of workers that are considered “essential”: “Automotive repair and maintenance facilities” and “Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers”.
“The Auto Care Association has been working tirelessly at the federal, state and local level to educate officials on the need to include Transportation Services on the list of essential businesses that should remain open during emergency shutdown orders in order to ensure the mobility of the public and most importantly emergency service personnel. This Federal directive hopefully will provide important guidance to State and local officials in the development of any emergency orders,” according to Auto Care Association president and CEO, Bill Hanvey.
Additionally, Auto Care has been working with retail and industry associations to document State responses to the COVID-19 virus. The following link, courtesy of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) documents each state’s publicly available information concerning emergency status, executive’s orders and other useful information. Auto Care advises the public to to check this document on a frequent basis for new developments. The link can also be found on the Association’s Coronavirus industry resource page located at autocare.org/coronavirus.
Please reach out to Aaron Lowe, senior vice president, government and regulatory affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tom Tucker, director, state affairs at email@example.com for additional information or if you have any questions.