What is considered an essential business

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- People are wondering what is considered an essential business versus a non-essential business ahead of Gov. Tony Evers’ planned announcement on Tuesday.

State Street in Madison (Curt Lenz/WMTV)

The Safer at Home order was something Evers said he didn’t make lightly.

He said business leaders told him in order it’s imperative to slow the spread of COVID-19 and shut down non-essential businesses.

Evers emphasized it does not mean a lockdown, but an attempt to limit unnecessary trips.

People will still be able to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, and gas stations.

According to a guidance from the Dept. of Homeland Security issued March 19, they created an initial list of essential infrastructure workers to help state and local officials protect their communities amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Their list is an advisory one and is not considered a directive.

It includes essential services including health care providers, law enforcement, farms, carry-out restaurants, and critical manufacturing jobs.

So far, Gov. Evers has not clarified how his administration will define essential and non-essential businesses. He said more details will be revealed when he formalizes the order Tuesday.

Evers’ legal counsel said employers and employees would be given time to adjust.

Republican leadership in the state criticized the vagueness of the order. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said it “created mass amounts of confusion.”

Under the order, Wisconsin will be joining other states, including California, Illinois, and Ohio, that passed similar orders.