Yesterday, Governor Lamont announced a major series of rollbacks of COVID-19-related restrictions for businesses. We’re still getting all the details, but for employers, the key thing to understand first with all the rollbacks is that certain things are not being rolled back.
- Face coverings and masks continue to be required
- Bars that only serve beverages continue to remain closed
- 11PM closing time remains in place for events at venues, restaurants, and entertainment
- Indoor theaters continue to have a 50% capacity
But beginning March 19, 2021, the state’s sector rules that have been in place for nearly a year will be getting a rewrite. Again, we’ll have to wait for the details but they will include the following:
- All capacity limits will be eliminated for Restaurants, Retail, Libraries, Personal services, Indoor recreation, Gyms/fitness centers, Museums, aquariums, and zoos, Offices and Houses of worship;
- Gathering sizes will be revised to the following amounts:
- Social and recreational gatherings at private residence – 25 indoors/100 outdoors
- Social and recreational gatherings at commercial venues – 100 indoors/200 outdoors
- All sports will be allowed to practice and compete, and all sports tournaments will be allowed, subject to Department of Public Health guidance
- Connecticut’s travel advisory will be modified from a requirement to recommended guidance
For employers, these are the most significant changes in quite some time and again, let’s await some details.
For offices, the return to the office may not (and probably shouldn’t) happen overnight. Employees have tremendous concerns about returning and there will still be needs to be met to keep unvaccinated employees safe.
Similarly, although the travel advisory will be changed back to a “recommendation”, employers may wish to have employees who travel out of state to quarantine upon return “to be safe”.
For now, employers can start thinking about what this rollback may mean to them. But the advice that has been handed out from the start remains true today: Move cautiously, be flexible, and make sure you get the details right.