Over the weekend, Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut issued updated rules to allow for a new series of businesses to reopen on June 17, 2020.  These guidelines continue the previously-issued guidance relating to Phase One businesses by providing science-driven directives.

The Governor’s stated goal for this next series of reopenings is to “proactively protect public health and speed up the pace of economic, educational and community recovery while restoring Connecticut’s quality of life”.

Many of the rules put in place for the Phase One reopening will continue during this second phase as well.

For example, businesses that open will do so at the state’s “strictest controls on business operations and societal interaction”.  This includes:

  • Capacity limit of 50% for most businesses that reopen
  • Strict cleaning and disinfection protocols in all settings
  • Importantly, those that can work from home should continue to do so
  • Similarly, those in high risk groups and over the age of 65 “should also continue to stay safe and stay home”
  • Facemasks should continue to be worn in public at all times

The following sectors will be allowed to reopen in a limited capacity on June 17, 2020:

  • Amusement Parks (Outdoor only and limited to 25% capacity)
  • Hotels / Lodging
  • Restaurants (Now including indoor dining and limited to 50% capacity)
  • Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums (limited to 50% capacity)
  • Indoor recreation (e.g., bowling, movie theaters, etc.) (limited to 50% capacity)
  • Libraries
  • Outdoor events (subject to existing and future gathering size limits promulgated by Executive Orders)
  • Personal services (e.g., nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc.)
  • Sports and fitness facilities (e.g., gyms, fitness centers, pools, etc.) (limited to 50% capacity)

While the sector rules vary from business to business, there are some common themes that continue to run through each set of the reopening guidelines.  Businesses that plan to reopen should ensure compliance with each of these rules:

  • Create a plan for reopening and share with all employees
  • Appoint a program administrator who is accountable for implementing the rules
  • Institute a training program and ensure employee participation
  • Training shall be provided at no cost and during work hours
  • Weekly refreshers are required
  • Develop a cleaning plan and checklists to incorporate these guidelines
  • Provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment to all employees
  • Maintain a log of employees on-premises over time, to support contact tracing
  • Stagger shifts, breaks, and lunch times to minimize contact between employees
  • Complete a thorough cleaning of the facility prior to reopening including but not limited to bathrooms, tools, and equipment
  • Ensure employees are washing hands regularly
  • Clean and disinfect bathrooms multiple times a day and hourly during busy times; keep a cleaning log
  • Make hand sanitizer available at the entrance and make sanitizer/wipes available near commonly used surfaces
  • Increase ventilation by using central air or opening doors and windows
  • Post clear signage that reinforces new policies, including social distancing protocols, PPE requirements, and that employees or customers experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may not enter
  • Post clear signage that includes the State hotline (211) to report violations
  • Complete the self-certification on the DECD website to receive a Reopen CT badge
  • In many instances, masks will be required for customers or participants — except under limited circumstances.

The rules indicate that employers should perform daily health checks on employees by asking them to confirm that they are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. In the case of a positive COVID-19 case, employees are required to inform their employers and follow state testing and contact tracing protocols.

The full set of rules can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-Business-Recovery/Sector-Rules-and-Certification-for-Reopen

Sector Specific Rules

In addition to the rules generally applicable to all open businesses, businesses in each sector must conform to the following specific rules and protocols. Businesses must implement these protocols on or before June 17th, or must delay reopening until they are able to comply. Click on industries below to view rules specific to that industry.