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Reopening Connecticut | Here is what you need to know about May 20

There are strict guidelines in place to protect employees and customers.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut will slowly begin to reopen today with "phase one", and certain businesses will be allowed to welcome people back.  However, there are strict guidelines that will need to be in place to protect not only the employees but the customers as well.

Here is what will be allowed to reopen in phase one:

Restaurants:

Starting May 20th, only outdoor dining will be allowed.  Restaurants can open up to 50% capacity, and no bars will be permitted.

What can customers expect?

  • Hand sanitizer should be available at the entrance
  • Employees must wear a facemask or other face covering
  • Gloves will be required for table servers and must be replaced frequently
  • Bar areas will be closed
  • Indoor areas must be closed
  • No reusable menus will be allowed, instead menus should be on paper or written on a chalkboard or whiteboard
  • Tables must be rearranged to be 6 feet apart
  • No buffets or self-serve stations are allowed
  • Condiments should be single use packets or sanitized after each use
  • Silverware should be rolled or packaged
  • In the kitchen, food workers will be arranged so they do not face each other and are 6 feet apart where possible
  • Employees will need to wash their hands routinely using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Seating areas, tables and common items will be sanitized after each guest

Restaurants will be required to post clear signage that includes the state hotline, 211, for employees and customers to report potential violations of the rules.

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Hair Salons & Barbershops:

Hair Salons and Barbershops were originally scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, but as of Monday, May 18 those re-openings have been pushed back to early June to be in line with neighboring Rhode Island. 

Services offered are restricted to hairdressing and eyebrows - nothing that requires removal of a facemask.  Despite initial plans, blow drying will be permitted.

What can customers expect in June?

  • Customers must wear a face mask or other cloth face covering and are required to bring something that completely covers the nose and mouth, unless they have a medical condition
  • Employees will wear face shields and a facemask or other cloth face covering
  • Hand sanitizer should be available at the entrance
  • There will be no waiting areas, customers can only be seen by appointment only
  • Employees are required to disinfect tools between each customer
  • Chairs should be arranged so work areas are at least 6 feet apart
  • Conversation should be limited between the client and employee when within 6 feet of each other, to a practical extent
  • Contactless payment is encouraged

Clear signage should be posted to reinforce the new policies.

Non-essential amenities will be absent from these businesses including:

  • Magazines, pamphlets and other waiting room materials
  • Customer-facing water and coffee machines
  • Coat rooms (customers are expected to bring personal belongings to the workstation where they are being serviced)

Businesses are required to post clear signage to reinforce the new policies. They are also required to post clear signage that includes the state hotline, 211, for employees and customers to report potential violations of the rules.

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Credit: FOX61

Retail & Malls:

Retail businesses and malls can open on May 20 at up to 50% capacity.

What can shoppers expect?

  • Hand sanitizer should be available at the entrance
  • Visual social distancing markers should be installed to encourage customers to remain 6 feet apart
  • Employees and customers must wear a face mask or face covering
  • Physical barriers will be placed at check out
  • Partitions will be set up between employees who cannot maintain a 6 foot distance, where possible
  • Contactless payment is encouraged
  • Fitting rooms will reopen, though Governor Lamont initially ordered them to remain closed. According to the guidelines, any clothes tried on by a customer must either be quarantined for 48 hours or thoroughly steam cleaned prior to returning to the floor.

Businesses will be required to post clear signage that includes the state hotline, 211, for employees and customers to report potential violations of the rules.

RELATED: Connecticut shopping malls implement precautionary measures when reopening on May 20th

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Credit: FOX61

Offices:

In phase one, offices will be allowed to open up at 50% capacity, but employees should work from home where possible.

The state says employees who choose or are instructed to return to their offices should be fully aware of the potential risks.

The state adds those who are 65 or older or have other health conditions should continue to stay home.

What can workers expect?

  • Hand sanitizer should be available at the office's entrance
  • Work spaces should be separated into discrete work zones, with movement between zones limited where possible
  • Employee desks should be arranged so they are spaced at least 6 feet apart
  • Partitions should be placed between employees where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained
  • Disposable wipes should be placed near shared surfaces like printers and desks
  • Employees must wear a face mask or other cloth face covering
  • Employees should bring personal belongings with them to work stations instead of using a coat room
  • Social distancing should be maintained in elevators by setting up a queue and by restricting capacity

Signage should be clearly posted to reinforce the new policies.  Offices will be required to post clear signage that includes the state hotline, 211, for employees to report potential violations of the rules.

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Museums & Zoos:

Starting May 20th, museums and zoos can open outdoor exhibits at up to 50% capacity.  The state says museums and zoos inherently present lower risks of contagion.

There is little touching, and density of visitors in any particular space is usually low and can be further limited.

The state adds visitors who are over the age of 65 or who have other health conditions should not visit museums or zoos unless they are able to reserve a time.

What can visitors expect?

  • All interactive and / or indoor exhibits will be closed
  • Visitors should continue to social distance and should expect to see floor markings to direct them in a one-way flow where possible
  • No guided group tours will be offered
  • Gift shops and food places will be closed, however outdoor food counters and snack bars may be permitted in accordance with restaurant rules
  • Physical barriers will be installed for ticket counters where possible
  • Attendants will enforce a maximum per exhibition room / area where possible

Signage is required to be posted to reinforce the new policies.

There should also be posted signage that includes the state hotline, 211, for employees and visitors to report potential violations of the rules.

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