SECTOR RULES FOR JUNE 17TH REOPEN
Proactively protect public health and speed up the pace of economic, educational, and community recovery while restoring Connecticut’s quality of life.
1 - SAFETY FIRST
We will reopen society safely and securely with a proactive program that safeguards the health of our vulnerable residents, continues physical distancing, and provides clear safeguard rules for businesses and 1 institutions deemed safe to reopen.
2 - SCIENCE-DRIVEN
Our strategy will rely on a scientifically validated set of public health interventions. Patient assessment, testing, proactive tracing, field studies, and public health guidance will be deployed simultaneously to contain infection.
3 - PREPARED
We will work closely with hospitals and health systems to procure and distribute critical personal protective equipment, and assess capacity of beds and ventilators to ensure optimal standard of care
4 - CHOICE
Individual businesses within sectors allowed to open are empowered to make their own choice on when they reopen. When they open, they must comply with rules we lay out to safeguard their employees and customers
5 - DYNAMIC
We include a suite of tools to inform an adaptive plan that can be nimbly scaled or rolled back rapidly based on real-time critical health metrics.
Our plan to open the economy will address two factors:
WHAT businesses can open and when.
HOW businesses must operate if they choose to open.
• We know that some businesses put employees and customers at greater risk of transmission.
• We will prioritize opening businesses that pose a lower transmission risk and drive outsized impact on the economy.
• Transmission risk is defined as contact intensity and modification potential of businesses.
- Contact intensity considers contact proximity, contact length, and number of contacts.
- Modification potential considers the businesses’ ability to socially distance and sanitize in accordance with regulations.
• We will assess the impact on state economic health with a focus on number of employed individuals, total GDP impacted, and impact on small businesses that
make up the backbone of our economy.
• We will provide clear operational guidance to businesses on how to reopen while ensuring the safety of both employees and customers.
• Guidance will include social distancing and hygiene, as well as the use of personal protection – for business operators, workers, and customers.
• The goal is to not only open safely, but create confidence in our society across employers, employees, and customers.
• The level of guidance will gradually become less restrictive over time, as our confidence in the ability to monitor and contain the disease increases.
The state will open its economy with a gradual approach.
The first set of businesses started reopening when we saw a sustained 14-day decline in hospitalizations, had adequate testing capacity, had a contact tracing system in place, and had procured sufficient PPE. The timing for that reopen was May 20th.
As we continue to reopen select businesses on June 17th, we will open at our strictest controls onbusiness operations and societal interaction. This will include, among other measures:
• Capacity limit of 50% for most businesses that reopen.
• Strict cleaning and disinfection protocols in all settings.
• Those who can work from home should continue to do so.
• Those in high-risk groups (comorbidities) and over the age of 65 should continue to stay safe and stay home.
• Facemasks should continue to be worn in public at all times.
• Social gatherings will be restricted in accordance to the Governor's executive order.
As we see progress on a defined set of public health metrics (detail to follow), we will gradually
loosen safeguards. This will allow for the next set of businesses to open and potentially for
businesses already open to operate with additional leeway. We expect this will occur over the coming months.
As always, we will make decisions based on data and science. Our plan intentionally allows for
sufficient time for learning, adoption of behaviors, and ultimately the achievement of improved
health metrics that create the necessary environment for new business operations. If public health metrics deteriorate, the State may choose to revert back to stricter safeguards.
As Connecticut's restaurants and other food service establishments reopen, the most important consideration will be the health and safety of employees and customers. Businesses must exercise caution throughout the reopening, ensuring strict adherence to the protocols listed here. Those businesses that are not able to meet these rules listed here shall delay opening until they are able to do so.
While these rules provide a way for restaurants and food service establishments to reopen in as safe a manner as possible, risks to customers and employees cannot be fully mitigated. Customers who choose to visit restaurants during this time should be fully aware of potential risks. Individuals over the age of 65 or with other health conditions should not visit restaurants, but instead continue to stay home and stay safe.
Businesses should take these rules as the minimum baseline of precautions needed to protect public health in Connecticut. Individual businesses should take additional measures as recommended by industry guidelines or by common sense applied to their particular situation.
We urge customers to stay vigilant and pay attention as to whether restaurants and other food service establishments they frequent are faithfully implementing these rules.
REOPEN RULES FOR RESTAURANTS
An establishment’s Phase II maximum indoor capacity is 50% of its regular indoor seating capacity. Outdoor dining is still encouraged as long as the restaurant does not exceed its regular operating capacity and physical distancing can be maintained. Additionally, if an establishment has established extra outdoor dining capacity in Phase I, that additional outdoor capacity may remain in Phase II.
If a restaurant or food establishment is hosting an event (e.g. wedding, reception, birthday party, etc) they must follow indoor event rules which are capped at 25 people. Restaurants cannot hold events at 50% capacity.
These rules are intended to help restaurants safely get back to work. The information here can be supplemented with guidance from other industry groups, some of which are listed below. These rules may be updated as conditions evolve.
• NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION
PLAN FOR REOPENING
Share these rules with your employees and inform them of any additional specific measures being taken in response to COVID-19.
Appoint a program administrator who is accountable for implementing these rules. For restaurants, the administrator must be the Certified Food Protection Manager.
The employer shall institute a training program and ensure employee participation in the program. Training shall be provided at no cost to the employee and during working hours. The training materials shall be presented in the language and at the literacy level of the employees.
Employers shall continuously update staff on changes to these Sector Rules. The training shall include:
• Guidelines outlined in this document
• Protocols on how to clean and use cleaning products (including disinfectants) safely
• Additional guidance can be found here:
NOTE: If any on-site duties are subcontracted, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure subcontractors are also appropriately trained.
Develop cleaning checklists that incorporate these rules. Ensure it is clear which employees are responsible for
implementing the plans.
Estimate required personal protection for employees and begin procuring.
Complete a thorough cleaning of facility prior to reopening, including, but not limited to all dining, kitchen, bathroom, and seating areas, and any commonly touched surfaces.
Employers are responsible for enforcing revised capacity limits (50%).
Maintain a log of employees on-premise over time, to support contact tracing.
Stagger shift start/stop times, break times, and lunchtimes to minimize contact across employees
Stagger shift start/stop times and break times to minimize contact across employees.
• Consider cohorting staff within each shift (e.g. keeping the same shift schedules and avoiding mixing staff across shifts)
Complete the self-certification on the DECD website to receive a Reopen CT badge. Once complete, businesses can choose to post the badge on-site and on social media
to advertise adherence to CT rules and build customer confidence
Employees must wear a facemask or other cloth face covering
Buffet and self-service stations must follow the guidelines in this document.
Discrete work zones for servers.
Businesses are encouraged to use no-touch or disposable
options for menus (e.g. phone app, whiteboard). If no-touch or disposable options are not commercially possible,
businesses must sanitize menus between uses.
Hand sanitizer made available at the entrance.
Contactless payment encouraged.
Indoor waiting areas must be closed.
Tables spaced at least 6 ft apart.
ENTRY & EXIT
Consider an exit from the facility separate from the entrance to allow for one-way foot traffic.
Post clear signage that supports new policies, e.g.:
• Social distancing protocols
• Cleaning and disinfection protocols
• Personal protection (face masks, gloves)
• Employees should stay home if sick/experiencing symptoms
• Customers should not enter if they are experiencing symptoms
• Additional signage can be found here:
SOCIAL DISTANCING MARKERS
Install visual social distancing markers to encourage customers to remain 6 ft apart (e.g. the entrance to the restaurant, lines to be seated, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom).
For facilities with central ventilation systems, increase ventilation rates and increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system where possible.
For facilities where a central ventilation system is not used, window air conditioning units or unit ventilators should be adjusted to maximize fresh air intake into the system; blower fans should be set on low speed and pointed away from room occupants to the extent possible. Ceiling
fans should be adjusted so that fins are rotating in a direction that draws air up toward the ceiling rather than down onto occupants. Window fans should be turned
to exhaust air out of the window in the direction of the outdoors. Window fans that blow air into a room or free-standing fans that only serve to circulate existing air
around a room should not be used.
Close indoor waiting areas.
BUFFETS & SELF-SERVICE STATIONS
Self-serve beverage stations are allowed but must adhere to the guidelines below. All other self-serve items must remain closed.
• Hand sanitizer must be made available next to beverage stations and operators must require customers to use before pouring beverages. Only cello or paper wrapped
straws and stirrers are allowed. Cups and lids must be from single pull dispenser or other method to minimize contact. Sweeteners, sugars and creamers must be individual packets. Floor markers must be installed to
achieve social distancing. Samplings and refills of personal mugs and cups are not allowed. Frequent disinfecting of the beverage station must take place, even during busy times.
Rearrange space to maintain at least 6 ft of empty space between customers groups. Customer groups may be seated less than 6 ft apart if non-porous barriers (e.g. Plexiglas, wood) that extend 30 inches above table height are installed between tables/booths. Restaurant owners should consult with their local Fire Marshal to ensure that any barriers constructed inside their restaurants are
compliant with life safety code regulations.
• Amenities non-essential to a businesses' main function (e.g. pool table, dart boards, giant Jenga, etc.) are allowed but must be thoroughly cleaned in-between group usage. Markings on the ground shall be used to section off these amenities and ensure they are at least 6 ft away from the closest chair back/person. Only those playing shall be allowed around these areas;others must remain in their seating area. Masks must be worn at all times and no food or drink is allowed in these areas.
• Non-essential amenities that cannot be thoroughly cleaned (e.g. cards, board games, etc.) are allowed to be brought to the establishment by customers.
DISCRETE WORK ZONES FOR SERVERS
Servers should serve specific zones in the restaurant to minimize overlap, where possible.
Ensure employees do not share equipment to the extent possible (e.g. cooking equipment, trays, etc.). If shared,
clean after each use.
IN THE KITCHEN
Re-arrange workstations so that food workers do not face one another and are 6 ft apart where possible (e.g. stagger workstations on either side of processing lines).
Businesses are strongly encouraged to use no-touch or disposable options for menus (e.g. phone app, whiteboard). If no-touch or disposable options are not utilized, businesses must sanitize menus between uses.
Utensils should be rolled or packaged.
Condiment containers should be provided only upon request and sanitized between uses
Install touchless appliances wherever possible, including:
• Contactless payments, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers, trash cans
MAXIMUM PARTY SIZE
Except as otherwise prohibited, dining groups are permitted provided that any such group comply with these rules and all other and applicable executive orders governing conduct in public places. The maximum permitted gathering size will be updated by executive order periodically in response to current public health data.
Only serve guests once everyone has been seated.
• Food should be ordered in advance
• Guests should limit their movement while dinner is being served to allow ample room for servers to move throughout the event
PICK-UP, DRIVE-THROUGH, & DELIVERY
Establishments should follow the FDA guidelines for pick-up, drive-through, and delivery operations that are posted on FDA’s website. Restaurants should also take the
following steps to assist customers with physical
• Encourage customers to place orders online or by phone
• Offer curbside pick-up where practicable
• Demarcate 6 ft distance between pick-up or payment locations, and between the waiting line for customers waiting in line.
• Where possible, install physical, non-porous barriers (e.g. Plexiglas, plastic glass) at key points of customer interaction (e.g. pick-up areas, payment stations)
PASSED HOR D'OEUVRES & DRINKS
• Allowed for events; server must hand hor d’oeuvres/drinks to customer; customer self-service not allowe
HOTLINE FOR VIOLATIONS
Post clear signage that includes the state hotline (211) for employees and customers to report potential violations of these rules.
Bar seating is permitted provided that either:
• There are no active work areas or working staff behind the bar at least 6 ft away; or • There is a physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) separating customers from the bar space
that is at least 30 inches high and a gap/opening at the bottom of the barrier is allowed for food and drink service as long as the gap/opening is no more than 8 inches
• In addition, parties must be seated at bars (no standing customer service) and parties must be spaced at least 6 ft from other parties
PERFORMERS/TALENT - OUTDOORS
• Performers/talent are exempt from wearing a mask when they are performing and are at least 12 ft away from the general public
• Commonly shared items (e.g. microphones) will be cleaned and disinfected frequently
• When giving a speech, speaker must be 12 ft away from general public
• Please refer to the Outdoor Events rules document for additional guidance on staging, set up and rehearsals of live performances
PERFORMERS/TALENT - INDOORS
• Performers/talent must wear a mask when they are performing and remain at least 6 ft away from the general public; musical vocalists are not allowed to perform indoors
• Please refer to the Indoor Events rules document for additional guidance on staging, set up and rehearsals of live performances
PERSONAL PROTECTION FOR EMPLOYEES
• All employees, including front of the house staff, are required to wear a facemask or other cloth face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth. Employees that cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition must provide documentation to their employer.
• Employees may utilize their own cloth face covering over that provided by their employer if they choose.
• All restaurant employees shall follow FDA guidelines on usage of gloves where appropriate.
EMPLOYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING PERSONAL PROTECTION TO THEIR EMPLOYEES
• If businesses do not have adequate personal protection, they cannot open.
PERSONAL PROTECTION FOR CUSTOMERS
• Customers are required to bring and wear facemasks or other face cloth covering that completely covers the nose and mouth.
• Businesses have the right to refuse service to an individual who is not wearing a mask.
Hand sanitizer shall be made available at entrance points and common areas, where possible.
Ensure employees wash their hands routinely using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
CLEANING, DISINFECTANT PRODUCTS, &/OR DISPOSABLE
Make available near commonly used surfaces where possible (e.g. tables and chairs, bathrooms).
Clean frequently, and implement use of cleaning log for tracking. Clean multiple times a day and hourly during busy times.
• Recommend posting signage encouraging reduced capacity in bathrooms, and reminding individuals to wash their hands and wear a mask
• Consider placing a wastebasket outside of the bathroom
CLEANING & DISINFECTING
Follow federal guidelines (CDC, EPA) on what specific products should be used and how.
• Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the
necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Train staff on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants
• Disinfectants are irritants and sensitizers, and should be used cautiously
• Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants; these surfaces should be sanitized instead
• Clean and disinfect common areas, high transit areas, and frequently touched surfaces on an ongoing basis (at least daily) and more frequently if used more often. Clean and disinfect shared objects after each use (e.g. PIN pads at payment)
SEATING AREA & TABLES
Disinfect seating area, tables, and common items after each seating.
Sanitize kitchen and kitchen equipment on an ongoing basis (at least daily) and more frequently if used more often.
DAILY HEALTH CHECK
Ask employees resuming on-premise work to confirm they have not experienced COVID-19 CDC-defined symptoms and to monitor their own symptoms, including cough,
shortness of breath, or any two of the following symptoms:
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Muscle pain
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell
Employees should stay home if sick.
IN THE EVENT OF A POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE
Employees should inform their employers, and follow state testing and contact tracing protocols. In addition:
• Employee should contact local public health to initiate contact tracing.
• Recommend 24-hour passive decontamination in the event of a positive case, and follow CDC guidelines for
cleaning and disinfecting.
• Additional information can be accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
Employers may not retaliate against workers for raising concerns about COVID-19 related safety and health conditions.
• Additional information can be accessed at www.whistleblowers.gov
• Additional information for the public sector can be accessed at www.connosha.com
Employers shall adhere to federal guidance pertaining to paid leave for employees and provide this guidance to employees. Employers shall post the Families First
Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Department of Labor poster. The poster can
be accessed at:
• Additional guidance can be accessed at: