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    Local News
    Tuesday, July 23, 2024

    Lamont issues rules for Phase 2 reopening

    Gov. Ned Lamont on Sunday released detailed instruction for businesses and organizations as part of the Phase 2 reopening on June 17.

    Phase 1 of the reopening due to the COVID-19 pandemic began May 20.

    Phase 2 includes amusement parks; hotels; indoor dining; indoor museums, zoos and aquariums; indoor recreation, such as bowling and movie theaters; libraries; outdoor events; personal services, such as nail salons and tattoo parlors; and sports and fitness facilities, such as gyms, fitness centers and pools.

    Lamont's rules came as the state announced Sunday there had been another 150 COVID-19 cases over the past day, bringing the total to 43,968. Another 16 people died, bringing that total to 4,071, while hospitalizations remained unchanged at 333.  More than 300,000 people have now been tested.  In New London County, cases are now at 1,119, there have been 95 deaths and six people are hospitalized. 

    In his announcement, Lamont stressed that the decision to reopen is up to each business owner. If they choose to reopen, they must follow the rules established by Lamont’s administration in consultation with legislators and the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which includes representatives from the business community.

    The rules involve social distancing, capacity, hygiene, sanitizing, signage, personal protective equipment, scheduling and training. Businesses and nonprofits planning to reopen June 17 also must visit the state’s self-certification website to certify they have complied with the reopening rules.

    Restaurants may offer indoor dining with 50% capacity and are encouraged to continue outdoor dining as long as they do not exceed their normal capacity. Indoor waiting areas are not allowed, and there cannot be buffets.

    It is recommended that hotels passively decontaminate rooms for 24 hours after a guest has checked out. Employees must wear masks and cannot enter a guest room when a guest is present. Hotels must also remove amenities such as mini-bars, ice machines, pens and pads. Contactless payment is required, and guests must wear face masks in common areas.

    Museums and aquariums, such as Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium, can now reopen their indoor components with 50% capacity. In Phase 1 they were allowed 50% outdoor capacity. Both employees and guests must wear face masks, one-way foot traffic flows are encouraged, and any interactive exhibits must be “thoroughly and routinely cleaned" to be open.

    Movie theaters and libraries can reopen with 50% capacity. Library patrons are encouraged to use book drops instead of returning books in person to the circulation desk, and libraries are being asked to waive late fees and extend due dates so patrons do not have to go to the library in person.

    People, except family members, must remain 6 feet apart at outdoor events and everyone must wear a mask.

    There is a long list of requirements for gyms, fitness centers, pools and sports teams. At gyms that require patrons to wear masks while exercising, equipment must be 6 feet apart while those that do not require masks must have 12 feet between pieces of equipment.

    Outdoor sports are limited to two teams, officials and family members. Indoor sports are limited to 50% capacity of the venue or 25 people, whichever is less. The limit can be exceeded to accommodate one parent per athlete.

    Showers are limited to rinsing before and after using a pool, steam rooms and saunas remain closed, and every second or third locker is locked to maintain social distancing.


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