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Gov. Lamont releases rules for businesses under Phase 1 of Connecticut's reopening plans

Businesses under phase 1 include: restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Governor Lamont's administration released Saturday rules that eligible businesses under phase 1 Connecticut’s reopening plans must follow amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses under phase 1 include: restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos.

According to the governor, May 20 is the date they can reopen, but they’re not required to if they don’t feel ready.

The rules for this first phase are published on the state’s coronavirus website.

The documents are available to download directly the links below:

All businesses subject to these rules will be required to self-certify prior to opening on May 20, officials said in a release.

Gov. Lamont's office says the certification system will begin online next week.

If owners do choose to open their doors in two weeks, things won’t be what people are used to. 

On Froday, the Reopen Connecticut Committee also released specifics on how businesses can move forward safely in terms of general social guidance on May 20. 

  • Face masks or coverings must be worn at all times in public
  • Gatherings will be limited to just five people
  • Those 65 or older especially with high-risk factors are encouraged to stay home 

While restaurant guidelines include: outdoors only, set to a 50% capacity, tables must be six feet apart, bars and dance floors will remain closed and employees and customers must wear masks. 

“When you’re at the table eating a meal, of course, you will not have to wear a mask, but when you’re moving to the table or to the bathroom you'll need to have a mask on in the restaurant,” Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman said. 

Retail protocols include:

  • Fitting rooms will be closed
  • Customers will be limited
  • Sanitizer will be placed at entrances
  • Physical barriers at checkouts must be put in place. 

“We’ve all seen this in grocery stores, they’ve done a good job installing plexiglass and we're also going to ask for that to be done in all retailers, in addition to the six feet markers on the floor,” Lehman said.

Offices will be able to open up as well, but the state urges those who can work from home to continue doing so. 

Although hair salons have the green light to reopen May 20th - nail salons do not. 

 “We struggled with this a little bit, and David and the Reopen Connecticut team working with the associations, came up with very strict parameters in regards to nail salons, and there was a sense maybe that was too expensive, too much too soon and maybe we should hold back on that for a while,” Governor Lamont said. 

Hair salons and barbershops will have to follow strict guidelines including chairs six feet apart, disinfecting hair tools between each client, services by appointment only and blow-drying will not be allowed. 

“Employees are going to need to provide a clean smock for each customer as they come in, again by appointment only, and customers are going to need face masks the whole time or face coverings,” Lehman said. 

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said now that these guidelines have been issued her office is seeking input from salon owners. 

“We are looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the guidelines that the Commissioner and the Reopen Connecticut committee are putting forward today, because we still have time to tweaks and make adjustments before May 20th,” Bysiewicz said. 

Salon owners looking to express concerns can reach the Lieutenant Governor's office by emailing ltgovernor.bysiewicz@ct.gov

For detailed information on the criteria, click here

RELATED: Gov. Lamont reveals 7 criteria for first phase of Connecticut’s reopening plan

Gov. Lamont also updated the latest COVID-19 numbers in Connecticut.

According to his report, 627 more people tested positive bringing the total to 32,411. 2,874 people have died, which was an increase of 77 since  Thursday.

Governor Lamont said COVID-19 statewide hospitalizations remain down.

1,336 patients are currently hospitalized, which was 49 less people than Thursday.

According to the data released Thursday, hospitalizations dropped by 60 bringing the current number of hospitalizations in the state from COVID-19 to 1,385.

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