Connecticut to Enter Phase 3 of Reopening on October 8, 2020

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Governor Ned Lamont recently announced details of Connecticut’s plan to move to Phase 3 of reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Phase 3, which is scheduled to take effect on Thursday, October 8, 2020, will relax some of the capacity restrictions that were put into place with respect to businesses and gatherings earlier in the reopening plan, but will retain other restrictions in a continued effort to limit spread of the virus.

Changes for Businesses

The following business changes are scheduled to take place in Phase 3:

  • Indoor capacity for restaurants, personal services, hair salons, barber shops, and libraries will increase from 50% to 75% capacity;
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g., amphitheaters, race tracks, etc.) will increase capacity from 25% to 50%;
  • Indoor performing arts venues will be able to open at 50% capacity; and
  • Bars and nightclubs will continue to remain closed.

All businesses experiencing changes to their capacity limits as outlined above must continue to comply with social distancing and face covering requirements.

Changes in Gathering Sizes

Phase 3 will also make the following changes to the current restrictions on gathering sizes:

Indoor Gatherings

  • Private (social and recreational) gatherings:
    • occurring at commercial establishments are capped at 50% capacity, or 100 people, whichever is less.
    • occurring at private residences are capped at 25 people.
  • Graduations are capped at 50% capacity, or 200 people, whichever is less.  Face coverings and social distancing are required.
  • Religious gatherings are capped at 50% capacity, or 200 people, whichever is less. Face coverings and social distancing are required.

Outdoor Gatherings

  • Private (social and recreational) gatherings, whether occurring at commercial establishments or at private residences, are capped at 150 people.
  • Graduations are capped at 50% capacity, while maintaining 6-foot spacing between attendees. Face coverings and social distancing are required.
  • Religious gatherings are capped at 50% capacity, while maintaining 6-foot spacing between attendees. Face coverings and social distancing are required.

Employer Takeaways

Eligible businesses considering expanding their capacity limits in accordance with Phase 3 of Connecticut’s reopening plan should continue to be diligent in taking the precautions necessary to protect employees and patrons, alike.  Employers should also ensure strict compliance with all reopening guidelines set forth above.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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