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Feds: Auto Repair ‘Essential’ Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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, the Auto Care Association says.

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Released on March 19, 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.”

The document includes the list of workers that should be 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.”

This link, courtesy of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, documents each state’s publicly available information concerning emergency status, executive orders and other useful information. The Auto Care Association advises the public 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.

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As the coronavirus impact grows, Conceptual Minds says it has found as government officials are saying that businesses should be closing due to the coronavirus, tire and auto clients are uncertain as to whether they are considered essential and whether they should remain open or close their doors. As a result, the company has created a national list of where tire and auto businesses are closed. The list can be found here.

For more coverage on how COVID-19 is impacting the tire industry, click here.

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