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On May 9, 2020, Governor Lamont released detailed protocols that certain businesses will be required to follow, in order to open under the first phase of Connecticut’s reopening plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Currently, Phase 1 is set to take effect on May 20th

Under Phase 1, the following businesses are eligible to reopen in accordance with the guidelines and subject to certain limitations:  restaurants (outdoor seating only); offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos. 

No business will be required to reopen on May 20th, but respective business owners, who decide that reopening is the right decision, must follow the prescribed rules.  In addition to following certain industry specific rules, all reopening businesses must:  (i) share a copy of the applicable reopening guidelines with employees; (ii) appoint a program administrator responsible for implementing the rules; (iii) develop a cleaning plan that incorporates the rules and clearly assigned implementation responsibilities; and (iv) institute a training program and train employees prior to reopening. 

Additionally, all eligible businesses that open under Phase 1 will be required to operate under the state’s strictest controls, which include, among other measures:  (i) limiting business capacity to fifty percent (50%); (ii) strict cleaning and disinfection protocols in all settings; (iii) continued remote working for those who are able; (iv) high-risk groups and those over the age of sixty-five (65) should continue to “stay safe and stay home”; (v) facemasks must be worn in public at all times; and (vi) social gatherings will be restricted to a maximum of five (5) people. 

Finally, businesses in Phase 1 sectors must complete a self-certification prior to opening on May 20.  This can be done online at:  Businesses can chose to download safety signage and a badge for display after they self-certify, but that is voluntary. 

Essential businesses—those that have remained open, or that closed temporarily and now wish to reopen—do not need to complete the self-certification unless they would like to do so and meet the criteria.  Customers and clients may be more comfortable knowing that the business completed the self-certification. 

The industry specific guidelines can be reviewed in their entirety by clicking the appropriate link below: 

For further information on the implications of COVID-19 on employment, or other employment related questions, please contact Christopher L. Brigham, at (203) 786-8310 or, Andrew Houlding at (203) 786-8315 or, or Valerie M. Ferdon at (860) 548-2607 or

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, PC would like to thank associate C. Zack Hyde for his contributions to this article.