Matto Wine Bar employee Giancarlo Governale gets a tip from Stratford resident Teresa Reynolds after bringing a meal out to her during a free meal giveaway at the restaurant on Bridgeport Ave in Shelton, Conn., on April 21, 2020. As many as 100 meals were prepared today for the first come first serve event, which was to help anyone who needs a meal during the coronavirus pandemic

The state released official guidelines Saturday that paint a more detailed picture of what Connecticut’s partial reopening on May 20 will mean for businesses and consumers post-coronavirus.

Five sets of documents detail rules for hair salonszoos and museumsofficesrestaurants and retail stores.

The guidelines, released the day after Department of Economic Development Commissioner David Lehman gave a presentation on the rules for reopening, come as certain eligible businesses prepare to resume operations after a two-month-long closure meant to curb the spread of the virus.

Here are some highlights from the newly-released documents. While many rules apply across the board, we’ve also broken them down by business type. 

Across the board

As officials announced in Gov. Ned Lamont’s Friday briefing, all of the non-essential businesses permitted to reopen later this month will have to cap their occupancy at half capacity.

They will also need to train employees on disinfection protocols laid out by the University of Washington.

Each document indicates methods to keep employees at a distance from one another. At restaurants, servers are to have discrete sections of tables with little or no overlap; at zoos, attendants are to stick to one work station in order to minimize movement.

Whether they come in the form of desks or counters, the state is asking businesses to keep work stations six feet apart from one another, or install partitions where that is not possible.

Employers will also need to stagger lunch breaks and shift start times, and ask employees daily if they’ve experienced COVID-19 symptoms. Employee logs, which will track when employees are on premises, will support contact tracing.

Whether it’s a stylist’s pair of scissors or a food try, employees are not to share equipment.

Every business will need to have signs letting customers and employees know how they can report violations: by calling 211, the state hotline.


Restaurateurs, who already knew they could only serve diners outdoors, will not be able to offer buffets, according to the restaurant-specific guidelines.

Tables will need to sit at least six feet apart from one another, a distance that will be measured between the nearest chairs.

Restaurants can only offer disposable menus, or ask customers to view the menus on their phones, the guidelines continue.

Hair salons and barbershops

Like restaurant tables, workstations are to be staggered six feet apart from one another, and blow drying won’t be allowed, according to the state documents.

And folks waiting for a haircut won’t be able to read a magazine, as the state is requiring salons to remove customer amenities, including reading material as well as water and coffee machines.


Offices should space desks six feet apart from one another, or install partitions where that distance is impossible to maintain, the state says.

The governor’s office is also encouraging offices to install touchless appliances, like motion-activated soap dispensers and hand dryers.

The office rules stress the importance of social distancing on elevators, suggesting offices ask employees to use the stairs if they can. They also ask employers to use elevator attendants to manage crowding, and to post signage with healthy elevator use protocols.

Zoos and museums

While zoos and museums will be allowed to reopen many outdoor areas, indoor exhibits, interactive exhibits, gift shops and food stands must remain closed, according to the state rules, which also prohibit guided tours.

The state is asking zoos and museums to determine the maximum occupancy at each exhibit so as to allow visitors to remain six feet apart.

Attendants are to enforce that occupancy, the guidelines say.

Retail stores and malls

While shoppers can return to the mall, they won’t be able to try on clothes before making purchases, as the state says fitting rooms should stay closed.

Like hair salons, stores are to remove nonessential amenities such as self-serve samples. And workstations should be six feet apart or partitioned.