Skip to Content

Transitioning from Red, to Yellow, to Green: Business Update Part 6

On May 22, 2020, Governor Wolf announced that, after months of counties being subject to Red and Yellow Phase restrictions, 17 counties would be transitioning to the Green Phase on May 29th, with any remaining Red Phase counties moving to the Yellow Phase by June 5th. With all of the press releases and information from the state circulating these past weeks and months, this resource for businesses is meant to recap some of the Yellow Phase requirements and introduce some Green Phase requirements.

  • Red and Yellow Phases:
    • As covered in our webinar, Reopening Your Business, all businesses in the Red and Yellow Phases that may continue in-person operations are required to follow the Yellow Phase guidance, which includes Employee/Customer Health and Safety Order requirements; our annotated version of these can be found here, and our resource on the distinctions between the Red and Yellow Phases and their requirements can be found here.
      • Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment businesses (such as casinos, theaters) remain closed in the Yellow Phase.
    • The broadly defined real estate industry may begin in-person operations under guidance which can be found here.
    • For landlords, new guidance for evictions can be found here. Building owners and operators can find common area health and safety requirements here.
    • On June 5th, restaurants and bars in the Yellow Phase may begin adding outdoor dine-in services to their existing pick-up and delivery options. Requirements and recommendations for these outdoor dine-in services can be found here.
    • If your business is separately regulated by a state or federal agency, be sure to check that agency’s website for more detailed requirements on performing in-person operations in your industry.
    • Red Phase in-person gatherings are limited to 10 people, and Yellow Phase in-person gatherings are limited to 25 people.
  • Green Phase:
    • The primary difference between the Yellow and Green Phases is that all businesses may reopen for in-person operations under general health and safety restrictions and industry specific requirements. Telework should still be promoted, and most all other Yellow Phase requirements remain in place.
    • General Green Phase Guidance can be found here, and information concerning the health and safety requirement can be found above.
    • Businesses are still required to follow the Employee/Customer Health and Safety Order, referenced above.
    • Businesses that were previously limited to 50% occupancy for in-person operations may expand to 75% of occupancy, so long as all other requirements can be followed.
    • Businesses that were not permitted to operate in-person under the Yellow Phase may now begin in-person operations at 50% occupancy.
      • Personal Care Services (including hair salons and barbershops) – by appointment only
      • Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities, and Personal Care Services (such as gyms and spas) – appointments strongly encouraged
      • All Entertainment – no additional restrictions
    • Restaurants and bars are limited to 50% occupancy for indoor dining and must follow the requirements for the restaurant industry referenced above.
    • Construction industry businesses may open to full capacity so long as the current health and safety requirements can be followed.
    • Green Phase in-person gatherings are limited to 250 people.

As businesses transition out of the Yellow and Red Phases and into the Green Phase, GKH attorneys are available to assist in your business’s compliance efforts. Beyond the Governor’s business shutdown and reopening plan, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how businesses must engage with their employees, vendors, customers, contractors, insurance companies, and communities. GKH attorneys are positioned to advise your business on issues from how to confront changes in any aspect of its operations to negotiating new agreements on a one-time basis or more permanent transformations of its standard documents. Jeff Worley and Ian Brinkman, the attorneys in GKH’s Corporate Practice Group focusing on COVID-19 issues, can be reached at and