Certain CT Businesses Permitted to Open May 20 with Restrictions
Open Business

PLEASE NOTE: Since this May 11 post, Governor Lamont has delayed the opening of hair salons and barbershops until early June. According to a press release issued on May 18, 2020, Connecticut will align the reopening date for these businesses with the state of Rhode Island.

On May 9, 2020, Governor Lamont announced rules for the reopening of certain non-essential businesses in the state on May 20. This first phase of Connecticut’s reopening plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic includes outdoor restaurants, offices, hair salons and barbershops, retail stores,and outdoor museums and zoos. The rules for each of these types of businesses are available here.

These businesses will be subject to the state’s strictest controls on operations including, among other measures:

  • Appointment of a program administrator accountable for implementing the rules;
  • Limiting occupancy to 50% of capacity;
  • Provision of personal protection to employees (though employees may choose to utilize their own cloth face coverings);
  • Employee training on the rules, with weekly refreshers;
  • Installation of social distancing markers; and
  • Strict cleaning and disinfection protocols.

The rules also emphasize that those who can work from home should continue to do so.

Each set of rules warns that businesses should take the rules as the minimum baseline of precautions needed to protect public health and that individual businesses should take additional measures as recommended by industry guidelines or by common sense applied to their particular situation. The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has stated that it will launch an ad hoc task force that will provide support to small businesses on how to implement the rules.

These businesses are not required to reopen on May 20; the decision rests with the business owner. Those businesses that do choose to reopen must self-certify before opening. The certification system is expected sometime this week and a link to the system will be added to this page on the DECD website.

No details have been announced with respect to reopen dates for other types of businesses or further relaxation of restrictions, but the administration says that it will gradually loosen safeguards as it sees progress on public health metrics. This will allow for the next set of businesses to open, and potentially for businesses already open to operate with additional leeway. This is expected to occur over the coming months through September 2020.  It will be important to check the DECD’s coronavirus information webpage regularly for additional guidance. For more information, please contact a Pullman & Comley employment law attorney.

Posted in COVID-19

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