governor ned lamont

Lamont Releases Guidelines to Allow Some Businesses to Reopen on May 20

NBC Universal, Inc.

Connecticut saw another decline in the net number of hospitalizations on Friday.

There were 49 fewer patients hospitalized with COVID-19 than the day before, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

That continues the state's rolling average of hospitalization declines past the 14-day goal set by Lamont and his team.

There were 627 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the total to 32,411. The state also saw 77 new deaths from coronavirus-related illnesses. The death toll now stands at 2,874.

Lamont was joined by Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz to unveil guidelines businesses must follow as they begin to reopen on May 20.

The four sectors of business that will be allowed to open on May 20 are restaurants, personal services, retail, and offices.

The guidelines for each of the sectors are as follows:


  • 50-percent capacity
  • Outdoor dining only
  • Tables 6 feet
  • Bars closed
  • Dance floors remain closed
  • Contactless payments preferred
  • High-contact areas and bathrooms cleaned frequently
  • Tables & chairs sanitized between groups
  • Paper or digital menus or posted on chalkboard/whiteboard
  • Packaged or rolled silverware
  • Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes available at entrance and exit
  • Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings
  • Table servers to wear disposable gloves, changed frequently
  • Customers wear facemasks or cloth face coverings except while dining

The governor is working with his legal team on an executive order to allow restaurants to use their indoor liquor licenses for outdoor serving, according to Lehman.

That order will only contain guidelines and the ultimate decision will lie with the individual municipalities, according to Lehman.

"This needs to work for the municipalities as we reopen the economy," Lehman said. "So, at the state level, we're trying to provide the toolkit to do this quickly and we believe safely, but if certain towns have the view that they don't want their restaurants having outdoor space or their retailers doing a sidewalk sale, they will have the ability to say no to that."

The Connecticut Restaurant Association reacted swiftly to Gov. Lamont's guidelines.

“The plans announced today would be a step toward reopening, but unfortunately not nearly a big enough step to save hundreds of restaurants from going out of business in the weeks ahead," Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch said in a statement. "This plan would keep the inside of restaurants closed at the same time other industries are opening up, even those who also serve customers indoors. Our local restaurant industry knows that things cannot return to normal right away, but as malls and hair salons and others are allowed to gradually begin indoor service, as they should be, it’s illogical that restaurants would be constricted to outdoor-only service for so long. And while it’s true that a mask must be removed to eat, it’s also true that in a restaurant patrons stay in one place for almost their entire visit as opposed to browsing or circulating about, and that the area they use is cleaned and sanitized after every use."

Personal Services

For Hair Salons:

  • Maximum 50-percent capacity
  • Appointments only
  • Waiting rooms closed
  • Workstations 6 feet apart
  • Physical barriers where possible
  • Contactless payments preferred
  • Tools soaked in disinfectant between clients
  • Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes at entrance points
  • High-contact areas & bathrooms cleaned frequently
  • Limit conversation where possible.
  • Employees to wear facemasks and face shields or eye protection
  • Employees to provide clean smock for each customer
  • Customers to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings
  • Increased ventilation and airflow where possible
  • Blow drying hair will be prohibited

Nail salons, which were originally part of the May 20 opening date, will now not be allowed to open, according to Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz.


  • Maximum 50-percent capacity
  • Fitting rooms closed
  • Physical barriers at checkout
  • Markers indicate 6-foot distance in line and at door
  • Self-serve counters closed
  • Contactless payments preferred
  • Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes at entrance points
  • Bathrooms cleaned frequently
  • High-contact areas cleaned frequently (carts/baskets, door handles, credit card machines)
  • Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings at all times
  • Customers to ear facemasks or cloth face coverings at all times

Malls will be allowed to reopen on May 20 as long as they follow the guidelines.


  • Maximum 50-percent capacity
  • Work from home where possible
  • Meetings subject to 5-person limit
  • Employees seated 6 feet apart, leave empty desks where necessary
  • Physical partitions where possible
  • Limit elevator capacity
  • High contact areas & bathrooms cleaned frequently
  • Common areas & lobbies cleaned frequently
  • Limit equipment sharing
  • Hand sanitizer & cleaning wipes at entrance and in common areas
  • Employees to wear facemasks or cloth face coverings except when in a private office
  • Increased ventilation and airflow where possible

On Thursday, Gov. Lamont detailed the criteria that the state is looking at concerning public health and data surrounding coronavirus cases in the state.

The seven criteria to begin the reopening process are:

  • 14-day decline of Hospitalizations
  • Increased testing available
  • Sufficient contact tracing capacity
  • Protect vulnerable populations
  • Adequate healthcare capacity
  • Adequate supply of PPE
  • Appropriate workplace safeguards

One type of business that won't be included in the May 20 date is gyms.

Contact Us