Reopening Connecticut: Phase 1 underway in 4-phased plan

STAMFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- Connecticut has officially entered Phase 1 of its four-part reopening plan as the coronavirus pandemic wanes, meaning many businesses are reopening as the economy comes back online.

What's Open

The following businesses became eligible to open Wednesday, May 20:
--Eat-in restaurants (outdoor dining only)
--Offices (though remote working is still encouraged)
--Retail stores
--University research
--Outdoor recreation businesses.

The Department of Economic and Community Development will continue to issue a list of business types permitted to reopen, which may be amended from time to time and shall be incorporated in the Sector Rules. Connecticut also launched a resource guide for small businesses.

Outdoor recreation activities are defined as the following:
--Equestrian (subject to Dept. of Agriculture guidance)
--Mountain Biking
--Boat Tours (subject to 5 passengers)
--Charter Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)
--Sport Fishing (subject to 5 passengers)
--Go Kart Race Tracks, practice only (bring your own, no rentals)
--Driving Ranges
--1:1 Training, outdoors maintain 6 feet
--Race Tracks (practice only, no spectators)
--Campgrounds (subject to DPH rules)
--Outdoor Shooting Range
--Kayaking, Sailing, Canoeing and Stand-up Paddleboarding
--Dirt Biking (practice only)
--Mini Golf
--Batting Cages
--Rope Courses

Governor Ned Lamont's plan relies on four levels - red, orange, yellow and green. The final level, green, may not be achieved for months.

He said that Phase 2 will be implemented on approximately June 20 and will include indoor dining, hotels, gyms, fitness and sports clubs.

"We are going to be really careful with movie theaters and bowling alleys, make sure you and employees feel safe," he said.

It will also include outdoor arts, entertainment and events up to 50 people, as well as outdoor amusement parks, social clubs, and pools.

To progress to Phase 2, the state will be looking at five metrics:
--Declining Transmission
--Contact tracing
--Business and Social Safeguards
--Protection for the Vulnerable
--Healthcare Capacity

People can make their own choices about whether to leave their homes, but Lamont strongly recommends people older than 70 stay home.

Current Guidance

Gatherings: All social and recreational gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited. Religious, spiritual, and worship gatherings of more than 50 are prohibited. This remains in effect until June 20, unless earlier modified.

Face Coverings: When in public and a six-foot distance is unavoidable, face coverings are required to be worn. This does not apply to anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to their health because of a medical condition. Guidance on face coverings has been issued to the state's businesses. A CDC video explains how to make a face covering at home.

Offices can resume in-person operations effective May 20 following specific sector rules.

Retail establishments can resume in-person operations effective May 20 following specific sector rules.

Restaurants are permitted to provide take-out and delivery services for off-premise consumption, and effective May 20 can serve food for in-person consumption using outdoor dining only and following specific sector rules.

Bars that do not serve food remain closed until at least June 20, unless earlier modified.

Gyms, theaters, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors remain closed until at least June 20, unless earlier modified.

Hair salons remain closed and will be permitted to reopen in early June following specific sector rules.

Schools: In-person classes at all pre-K to 12 schools are canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Schools should continue distance learning.

Summer camps: Summer camps will be permitted to open effective June 29, 2020. Guidance will be released in the coming days with specific details they must follow to operate.

Travelers: Any person coming into Connecticut by any mode of transportation should self-quarantine for 14 days.

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