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Governor Releases Detailed Protocols For Reopening Various State Businesses, Destinations



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Following through on a commitment he made at his Friday press briefing, Governor Ned Lamont has released detailed protocols to gradually and safely begin the "baby steps" necessary to reopen large segments of state businesses and some outdoor destinations like the Beardsley Zoo.

Detailed industry-specific documents are accessible by clicking corresponding links below. Owners are urged to review rules eligible businesses falling under Phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening plans must follow amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first phase – which includes restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos – is currently planned to take effect beginning May 20.

The governor stressed that the decision to reopen during this phase rests with each individual business owner – they are not required to open if they do not choose, however if they do they must follow the rules as prescribed.

The protocols were developed by Governor Lamont, members of his office, and the Department of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with legislators and recommendations made by the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which consists of several of the state’s leading medical experts and representatives of several business and industry groups.

Documents containing the rules for the first phase of reopening have been published on the state’s coronavirus website – ct.gov/coronavirus – and are available to download directly at these links:

· Hair Salons & Barbershops - CLICK HERE

· Museums and Zoos (Outdoor Only) - CLICK HERE

· Offices - CLICK HERE

· Restaurants (Outdoor Only) - CLICK HERE

· Retail & Malls - CLICK HERE

All businesses subject to these rules will be required to self-certify prior to opening on May 20. The certification system will be online beginning next week.

In tandem with the release of this guidance, DECD Commissioner David Lehman announced that his office is launching an ad hoc task force that will provide support to small businesses on how to implement these new regulations.

Commissioner Lehman said, “We are grateful to these organizations who represent the voices of our communities and our small businesses for agreeing to work with DECD and AdvanceCT in a team effort to provide the best possible guidance and support to our small businesses. We share the goal of helping businesses across the state to reopen as quickly as possible, while adopting these new and necessary measures to keep our communities safe.”

The Reopen Connecticut Small Business Implementation Task Force will be chaired by Lyle Wray of the Capitol Region Council of Governments. Other members will include:

· Cindy Bombard, Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce

· Joe Brennan, Connecticut Business and Industry Association

· Nancy Cowser, seCTer

· Joe Ercolano, Small Business Development Center

· Cathy Graves, New Haven Small Business Academy

· David Griggs, MetroHartford Alliance

· Kim Hawkins, HEDCO

· Larry McHugh, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce

· Patrick McMahon, CT Main Street

· Julio Mendoza, Spanish American Merchant Association

· Dan Onofrio, Bridgeport Regional Business Council

· Fran Pastore, Women’s Business Development Council

· Garrett Sheehan, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce

· Tony Sheridan, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut

· Lynn Ward, Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce

Local businesses can also reach the Newtown Office of Economic and Community Development for additional support by CLICKING HERE.

A graphic provided during Governor Ned Lamont's press briefing May 8 illustrates some information regarding potentially reopening some restaurants on and after May 20 that can offer outside dinig with proper PPE and social distancing capacity.
Among the new signs in the windows of Franco's Pizza & Pasta Cafe is one on the entrance door that implores people to "Please do not come in. Call us." Like many other restaurants during the current pandemic, the Sand Hill Plaza eatery is relying on curbside service and delivery in order to stay afloat.  —Bee Photo, Hicks
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