Connecticut will reopen restaurants, hair salons next week




Photo of West Hartford by Ragesoss on Wikimedia

Connecticut restaurants, offices, hair salons, museums, and retail stores can open next week as part of the state’s first reopening phase–but expect things to look a little different. To be able to open on May 20, eligible businesses must follow strict rules, which include outdoor only service for restaurants and museums, capacity limits, facemask requirements, and restriction of social gatherings to five people. Connecticut’s decision comes as New Jersey will start to open on Monday and some upstate regions of New York get ready to reopen this weekend.




Image courtesy of Gov. Ned Lamont’s Office

The decision to reopen lies with each individual business owner, according to Gov. Ned Lamont. Last week, the governor released detailed protocols that must be followed in order for businesses to reopen, which involves a 50 percent capacity limit, strict cleaning and disinfection measures, and face mask requirements.

Restaurants can open for outdoor dining only, with tables placed six feet apart and at 50 percent capacity. Bars and recreational areas, like dance floors and play areas, must be closed. Restaurant workers must wear face coverings and servers must wear disposable gloves. Diners should also be wearing face coverings, except when eating.


Image courtesy of Gov. Ned Lamont’s Office

Hair salons and barbershops will be open for appointments only, with waiting rooms closed. To avoid congregation at salons, workstations will have to be six feet apart and physical barriers in place, where possible. Stylists must wear facemasks, shields, or eye protection and provide clean smocks for each customer. All customers must wear some type of face-covering during the appointment.

The state is still encouraging employees to work from home if possible. But if not, companies should set up office space to allow workers to maintain six feet of distance from each other, or putting up partitions between them if that distance cannot be maintained. All employees are required to wear a face-covering if not working alone in a segregated space, according to the state, which includes a cubicle with walls or private office.

At retail stores and malls, social distancing markers and partitions at checkout counters need to be installed and non-essential amenities removed. Museums and zoos can reopen as outdoor-only spaces, with gift shops, indoor exhibits, and food vendors closed.

In New York, phase one of some regions that have met strict guidelines will be able to reopen on Friday. The first phase of reopening includes construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and some retail for curbside pickup only. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, and Southern Tier regions of the state have met the criteria, which involves a 14-day decline in hospitalizations, deaths, and other factors.

New York City has currently only met four of seven required criteria to reopen. During a press briefing on Thursday, said if the numbers continue to trend down consistently, the city may be ready to start reopening during the first half of June. The city is also looking into outdoor dining at restaurants as a way to reopen.

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