Report by Paula Antolini, May 14, 3:53PM EDT
Latest Guidance …
Sector Rules for Reopen
The following rules apply to all Connecticut businesses and organizations and are effective March 19, 2021. Please keep in mind that it is the cumulative effects gained from social distancing, hand washing, and mask-wearing that will continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Businesses should take these rules as the minimum baseline of precautions needed to protect public health in Connecticut and refer to the recommended guidance by sector listed at the bottom of this page for best practices. Individual establishments should also take additional measures as recommended by industry experts or by common sense applied to their particular situation.
Businesses/organizations should continue to support local public health contact tracing efforts, such as maintaining a log of employees on-premises over time.
Employers should continue to encourage employees to stay home when sick and encourage working from home when possible. In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, employees shall inform their employers and follow state testing and contact tracing protocols.
Businesses have the right to refuse service from customers not wearing masks.
Social distance markers, signage, and one-way traffic are still encouraged.
In terms of ventilation, facilities should work to increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system where possible, or use window units.
Businesses are still encouraged to post clear signage that includes the state hotline (211) for employees and customers to report potential violations of these rules. For additional information, please see Safe Workplace Recommendations for Employers.
Effective Friday, March 19, 2021
Capacity limits are now up to 100%, subject to social distancing requirements (unless otherwise noted). However, it is the right of the operator/owner if they choose to operate below 100% capacity.
6 ft. spacing and social distancing continues to be required where possible (unless otherwise noted).
Masks continue to be required in all public settings where social distancing is not possible.
All establishments must follow CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting guidelines.
Performers and musical vocalists at restaurants, outdoor and indoor events, and performing arts venues are allowed, subject to the following:
- 12 ft. spacing or more from the nearest person dining or working (for example, workstations or walking paths used by employees must be included in the 12 ft. distancing).
- To maximize the protection of their patrons and employees, businesses/organizations are strongly encouraged to require performers to obtain a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) within 72 hours prior to performing.
Sports and Gyms/Fitness Centers
All sports will be allowed to practice and compete, and all sports tournaments will be allowed, subject to Department of Public Health guidance.
Indoor and outdoor pools should limit the total number of patrons in the pool area and pool to the number of people/households that can safely fit on the pool deck area while maintaining 6 ft. of distance, including 3 ft. wide walking paths. “Free swim,” where individuals are not engaged in lap swimming, swim lessons, water aerobics, or other similar organized water activities, is discouraged prior to April 20. Youth and amateur swimming teams are subject to DPH guidance.
Road race organizers are encouraged to follow the guidance contained in the Outdoor Events Reopen Recommendations below.
6 ft. spacing is still required between gym/fitness center customers, as are masks.
Restaurants & Indoor Recreation
6 ft. spacing or non-porous barrier continue to be required between tables, with an 8-person maximum table capacity.
Food Service continues to be required with alcohol service– bars that only serve beverages must remain closed. No standing bar services is allowed outside of private events.
All restaurants and indoor recreation continue to be subject to an 11:00 PM closing time.
Movie Theaters and Performing Arts Venues
Capacity limit is still up to 50%.
6 ft. spacing is required between parties.
All movie theaters and performing arts venues continue to be subject to an 11:00 PM closing time.
Effective Friday, April 2, 2021
Outdoor amusement parks can open with no capacity limit.
Outdoor event venues can increase to a 50% capacity, capped at 10,000 people.
Indoor stadiums can open at 10% capacity.
Effective Saturday, May 1, 2021
All restaurants, entertainment, recreation, and theaters will be subject to a 12:00 AM closing time.
Food Service continues to be required with alcohol service indoors–indoor bars that only serve beverages must remain closed. No standing bar services is allowed indoors outside of private events. Tables continue to be subject to an 8-person capacity limit indoors.
Food Service will no longer be required with alcohol service outdoors—outdoor bars that only serve beverages may open. Standing bar service is allowed outdoors. There will no longer be an 8-person table limit outdoors.
Effective Wednesday, May 19, 2021
All remaining restrictions will be lifted, except masks will continue to be required in all indoor public settings where social distancing is not possible.
These changes are contingent upon a low incidence of COVID-19 and the Connecticut population continuing to get vaccinated.
DPH will also be issuing recommendations for hosting large events (e.g. concerts).
Gatherings (effective Friday, March 19, 2021)
|Private, Social and Recreational Gathering Sizes – Commercial Venue (e.g. weddings, office meetings, parties)||Indoor – Up to 50% capacity – Cap of 100 peopleOutdoor – Cap of 200 people||Face masks and social distancing required. Capacity count does not include event staff.|
|Private, Social and Recreational Gathering Sizes – Private Residences (e.g. weddings, parties)||Indoor – Cap of 25 peopleOutdoor – Cap of 100 people||Face masks and social distancing required. Capacity count does not include event staff.|
|Graduations||Indoor – Up to 50% capacity – Cap of 100 peopleOutdoor – Limited to the number that can be accommodated safely by location with masks and social distancing required.||Face masks and social distancing required.|
|Religious Gatherings||Indoor/Outdoor – Limited to number that can be accommodated safely by location with masks and social distancing required.||Face masks and social distancing required. Click herefor recommendations.Social distancing markers: Install visual social distancing markers to enforce seating arrangement and, by marking seats as use or non-use. Alternatively, engage ushers to guide attendees to seats and enforce seating arrangement.|
|Outdoor Event Venues (e.g. Amphitheaters, Race Tracks)||Effective April 2:Up to 50% capacity – Cap of 10,000 people||If an outdoor event venue is holding a private gathering, they are subject to the 200-person limit under outdoor private gatherings (see above). Capacity count does not include event staff or competitors.|
Face masks and social distancing required.
|Fairs, Festivals, and Carnivals||Up to 50% of last year’s capacity.||Face masks and social distancing required. Capacity count does not include event staff or competitors.|
|Outdoor Organized Gatherings– Open to the public (e.g. Fireworks, Concert in Municipal Park)||Cap of 500 people.6 ft. of space blanket to blanketEvent organizer responsible for compliance with guidance.||Face masks required except while eating and drinking, and lines clearly marking seating areas must be drawn.|
Click herefor sample seating layout.
Reopen Recommendations by Sector*
Beginning March 19, 2021, the following documents should be treated as recommended best practices:
- Amusement Parks english
- Film/Television/Digital Media Production english
- Hair Salons & Barbershops english
- Hotels / Lodging english
- Indoor Events / Performing Arts Venues english
- Indoor Recreation english
- Libraries english
- Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums english
- Offices english
- Outdoor Events english
- Personal Services english
- Restaurants english
- Retail & Malls english
- Senior Centers english
- Sports / fitness facilities (gyms, pools, etc.) english