Businesses that have been shuttered since March may be eligible to reopen on May 20th, as Connecticut enters Phase One of its reopening plan. The May 20th date allows for hair salons/barbershops, museums/zoos (outdoor only), offices, restaurants (outdoor only), and retail/malls to reopen if specified criteria are met. Sector-specific criteria are available here. Non-essential businesses outside of these sectors may not reopen yet.
While the specific safety and operational requirements vary by sector, all businesses planning to reopen are subject to certain significant requirements and restrictions. Each business must do all of the following, in addition to other measures specified in the sector-specific criteria:
• Limit capacity to 50% in order to maintain social distancing.
• Share the sector-specific rules with 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.
• Develop cleaning checklists that incorporate these rules. Ensure it is clear which employees are responsible for implementing the plans.
• Institute a training program and ensure employee participation in the program prior to reopen. The training must include the sector-specific rules and the employer’s cleaning protocols. The 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. There shall also be weekly refreshers on policies. If any on-site duties are subcontracted, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure subcontractors are also appropriately trained.
• Provide personal protective equipment to their employees. If businesses do not have adequate personal protection, they cannot not open.
• Maintain a log of employees on premise over time, to support contact tracing.
• Post signage, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act poster, signage that includes the state hotline (211) for employees and customers to report potential violations of state reopening rules, and signage to reinforce new policies (e.g. cleaning and disinfection protocols).
• Complete the self-certification on the DECD website (not yet available, but expected to be posted here) to receive a Reopen CT badge.
Businesses planning to reopen on May 20th have less than two weeks to comply with all these requirements. The Labor and Employment attorneys at Berchem Moses PC can help your business get up and running as quickly as possible in accordance with all state and federal legal requirements.