Your dealership’s service drive can continue to operate even as scores of businesses are instructed to close at the direction of local, state and federal authorities.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) — part of the Department of Homeland Security — issued guidance on Thursday 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 move came after a host of industry associations urged President Trump and federal officials to make this move.
“CISA uses trusted partnerships with both the public and private sectors to deliver infrastructure resilience assistance and guidance to a broad range of partners,” the agency said in its memorandum announcing the orders.
“In accordance with this mandate, and in collaboration with other federal agencies and the private sector, CISA developed an initial 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,” officials continued.
“The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub-sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance,” they went on to say.
Of major importance to the industry, the document includes the list of workers that are considered “essential,” specifically stating: “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.”
Auto Care Association president and chief executive officer Bill Hanvey — one of the initial organizers of efforts to gain this clarity — applauded the results.
“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,” Hanvey said in a news release.
“This federal directive hopefully will provide important guidance to state and local officials in the development of any emergency orders,” Hanvey added.