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Federal Government Issues Guidance to Define Vehicle Service and Repair as Essential Service

The 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.

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Released on March 19, The Department of Homeland Security memorandum titled, “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 on 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,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “This Federal directive hopefully will provide important guidance to State and local officials in the development of any emergency orders.”

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