Commonwealth to End Pandemic-Related Licensing Waivers

PA CapitolCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of State announced that its professional licensing waivers issued under the COVID-19 disaster declaration will begin to expire in several phases starting August 17.

Under Act 21 of 2021, all waived and suspended regulations initiated because of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration will expire on September 30, 2021, unless terminated sooner. Licensed professionals and other individuals impacted by these waivers are urged to make every effort to return to compliance as soon as possible.

The nearly 100 waivers approved by the administration temporarily eased regulations to allow such things as extended temporary practice permits and expanded scopes of practice for certain health professions, expedited reactivations to allow retired licensees to join pandemic response efforts more easily, and emergency temporary licenses for out-of-state practitioners who wished to help in Pennsylvania.

“The COVID-19 disaster declaration allowed us to mobilize our licensees to respond to this crisis while protecting the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians,” said Professional and Occupational Affairs Commissioner Kalonji Johnson. “With the end of the disaster declaration, licensees must go back to practicing and learning as they did pre-pandemic.”

A list of all waivers and anticipated expiration dates is available on the Department of State website.

The department is notifying licensing boards, licensees, and stakeholders about the expiring waivers.

The legislature ended the COVID-19 disaster declaration in June, while extending some license waivers. Without a disaster declaration, the governor and Department of State cannot further extend the waivers. Legislative action is necessary to extend any waiver beyond September 30.

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“We know that some of these waivers were vital to licensees during the pandemic and that it would benefit their patients and those they serve if some of them were made permanent,” said Commissioner Johnson. “The department is continuing discussions with the General Assembly about the needs and concerns of our licensees.”

For more information on the Department of State’s COVID-19 licensing waivers, visit the department’s website.

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