CONNECTICUT — The state will enter its second reopening phase June 17 just in time for Father’s Day weekend. Things like indoor dining, gyms and movie theaters will make their return albeit under strict rules that will define our “new normal.”

Around 95 percent of Connecticut’s economy will be reopen in the second phase, Gov. Ned Lamont said. The third reopening phase will take place sometime in mid-July as long as the state maintains the course in keeping coronavirus infections and hospitalizations under control.

Lamont’s administration has moved away from its target goal of 100,000 coronavirus tests per week for the state. State COO Josh Geballe said during a news conference that the state would continue to focus on high-risk settings such as nursing homes, prisons, healthcare and other essential workers. In addition, anyone with possible coronavirus symptoms should get tested, he said. There has been mixed messages from the federal government about what kind of testing scenarios would qualify for federal reimbursement, he said.

About 47,000 tests were administered between June 8 and 14, according to the state Department of Public Health. The positive case rate has mainly remained under five percent for the past couple of weeks and has dipped into the two percent range on several days.

Below are the sector rules for reopening on June 17:


Maximum indoor capacity is 50 percent of its regular seating capacity. Outdoor dining is still encouraged as long as restaurants don’t exceed their maximum normal capacity. Restaurants with outdoor capacity that was allowed to be raised in the first reopening phase can maintain it so long as the municipality approves it.

Waiting areas are to remain closed, buffets and self-service stations aren’t allowed. Increasing ventilation to allow fresh outdoor inside is encouraged, but blower fans shouldn’t be pointed at people.

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Tables should be spaced at least six feet apart unless there is a non-porous barrier such as Plexiglass. Restaurant owners should consult with the local fire marshal office to make sure barriers conform to safety codes.

Restaurant dance floors and pool tables should be closed and the state is encouraging restaurants to use disposable menus or no-touch menus such as whiteboards.

Bar seating is allowed if there is a physical barrier between seats or, there are no staff working behind the bar or six feet of distance can be maintained between parties.

Gyms, sports, sport clubs, fitness centers and pools

Gyms and facilities without organized sports must operate at 50 percent or below normal capacity. Facilities can decide whether masks are mandated; if they are then six feet of distance must be maintained. If not, then 12 feet of distance must be maintained. These rules will have to be enforced in the freeweight section of the gym, so that means no spotters.

Facilities with central ventilation systems should increase ventilation rates to allow more outdoor air inside.

Patrons must wipe down equipment after each use, including free weights. Employees should also frequently clear equipment.

Every other or every third locker shouldn’t be used in order to keep the six-foot distancing requirement.

Drinking fountains should be shut down and only water bottle filling stations should be allowed; patrons must bring their own bottles.

Tanning beds must be cleaned and sanitized after every use.

Group classes are encouraged to be done virtually or online if possible. Indoor group classes should be held at 50 percent normal capacity and participants should maintain six feet of distance.

Pools and sport clubs

Pool users should arrive in their swimsuits and shower prior to arriving. Deck layouts should be modified to keep six feet of distance between people if they don’t live together.

Swim lessons that require physical contact between a coach and student aren’t allowed during phase 2.

Basketball courts can be utlized for group fitness activities. Hot tubs are only allowed to be filled to 50 percent regular capacity and six feet of distance must be maintained between users.

Squash and racquetball is 1:1 only.


Sports that involve sustained close contact like wrestling, football and lacrosse are classified as higher risk. The ycan perform individual or group training and controlled practices during phase 2. They will be allowed to host games and tournaments after July 6.

Athletes are stronlgy encouraged to travel to venues alone or with members of their immediate household.

Team meals should be suspended and equipment shouldn’t be shared to the extent possible.

Practices should be held in smaller groups and there should be 15 minutes between scheduled groups to allow coaches time to disinfect equipment.

Game balls will be disinfected before and after every practice, clinic and game.

Player huddles will be banned and post-game handshakes and other physical sportsmanship will also not be allowed.

Dugouts and similar areas will only be allowed to open if six feet of distance can be maintained between people.

Spectator crowds are encouraged to follow social distancing practices, and they must wear face masks or cloth face coverings unless doing so would negatively affect health.

Indoor recreation (Bowling, movie theaters, etc.)

There is a 50 percent capacity limit. Employers are responsible for maintaining this limit.

Rearrange space so there are six feet of distance between customers or groups of customers. In a bowling alley this may require certain lanes to be closed and in movie theaters some rows may need to be closed.

For bowling alleys customers should only use one bowling ball during their visit.

Consider a separate exit from the entrance to encourage one-way foot traffic.

Close indoor waiting areas.

Use partitions between employees and customers at areas like check-in counters.

Personal services

Waiting rooms are to be closed.

Procedure areas like massage rooms should be cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectant after each use. Appointments are to be 1:1 only and should be staggered so multiple clients aren’t arriving and departing at the same time.

Every other or every third locker should be disabled to help enforce six feet of social distancing.

Any laundry items should be washed in hot water and detergent and should be dried on the hottest setting.

Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed.

Nail service areas have to be fully cleaned and disinfected between clients. That includes cuticle scissors, storage containers, UV lamps and nail clippers. Jet lines have to be cleaned in foot tubs. Similar rules apply to esthticians and makeup artists.

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Wax specialists should have two sets of tools so one can be actively used while the other set is disinfecting in Barbicide for at least 10 minutes.

Tattoo parlors are subject to similar rules. Steel reusable tools must be sterilized n an autoclave.

See also: CT Keeps Coronavirus Under Control As Phase 2 Reopening Starts

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Museums, Zoos and Aquariums

Can operate at 50 percent capacity for outdoor and indoor exhibits or a level that allows for proper social distancing, whichever is less.

Interactive exhibits can only be opened if they are routinely cleaned. Employees and customers must wear a face mask or clothing face covering.

Visitors should be directed in a one-way foot traffic flow as much as possible. Loitering in welcome areas and lobbies should be discouraged.

Indoor exhibits should have enforced timed entry and exit. Tours are capped at a maximum of 10 people include the tour guides; this amount should be lower if social distancing is impossible.

Audio guides shouldn’t be used in the second reopening phase.

Only outdoor performances are permitted. Performers don’t have to wear a mask as long as they can stay 12 feet away from the nearest person, including other performers.

No indoor events like birthday parties are allowed. Outside events may have up to 50 people provided that social distancing is possible.


Limit visitors and service providers on-site by keeping concierge services on the phone only. Room service deliveries should be bagged and left at hotel room doors. Room service should be provided with disposable dishes and cutlery.

Employees are prohibited from entering guest rooms when the guest is present.

Passive decontamination of 24 hours after a guest has left is recommended.

Meeting and convention spaces should be limited to guidance already in place for indoor social gatherings.

Pool and fitness areas must follow the same rules as full-sized gyms and pool facilities.

Non-essential amenities such as ice machines, coffee areas and mini bars should be removed. Non-essential services like valet parking should also be discontinued.

Mobile check-in and check-out are encouraged.

Hotels will need to allow housekeepers extra time to properly clean rooms without loss of pay.

Outdoor events

All event attendees must wear face masks when they can’t socially distance from other people except members of their own household.

Virtual queuing of spectators is encouraged in order to prevent a large mass of people waiting to get into a venue.

Performers don’t have to wear face masks as long as they can stay 12 feet away from other people, including other performers.

The maximum number of people at an event will change periodically by executive order depending on the coronavirus situation in the state.

Events should have definitive start and ending times.


Social distancing should be maintained in aisles between book stacks. Signage to direct traffic one-way is preferable.

Libraries should consider waiving fines or extending due dates to prevent less in-person contact; book drop off boxes are also encouraged.

In-person programs like workshops or job fairs must follow the current limitation on group sizes.

Amusement parks

Self-serve and reusable/refillable cup programs must be discontinued for now.

Each ride should have its own loading protocol to allow for proper social distancing. This may include leaving some rows and seats unused.

Require online ticket purchasing as much as possible.

Every other parking spot should be closed to allow social distancing in parking lots during peak hours.

Rearrange ride lines in a “maze style” instead of a straight line in order to allow more social distancing.

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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