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Phase Two of reopening begins

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Phase two of Connecticut’s reopening after statewide closings due to the coronavirus has begun. Here’s what to expect when you leave the house.

From indoor dining to libraries, there’s a lot to attend:

  • Amusement parks
  • Indoor dining
  • Hotels
  • Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Indoor recreation (e.g. bowling, movie theaters, etc.)
  • Libraries
  • Outdoor events
  • Personal services (e.g. nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc.)
  • Sports and fitness facilities (e.g. gyms, fitness centers, pools, etc.)

RELATED: Mystic Aquarium indoor exhibits, downtown Mystic hotels to reopen with health safety measures in Phase 2

The governor’s reopening plan includes sports, sports clubs and complexes, gyms, fitness centers, and pools.

In gyms, all staff and guests/clients must wear a mask while working out. Outdoor sporting events on fields will allow just two teams, officials, and limited family members. Coaches and staff and spectators must wear masks.

RELATED: Gyms, movie theaters see big changes for Wednesday’s reopening

Indoor facilities will be limited to 50% capacity.

Outdoor basketball courts and tennis courts can open. Coaches should keep players in small groups. Sports travel remains limited. Players are recommended to travel alone or with immediate family only.

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

Additionally, restaurants will be allowed to open their indoor dining. All tables must be at least six feet apart, and guests must wear masks to and from their tables.

Indoor seating capacity will be limited to 50%, and some seating situations will need physical barriers.

Hotels, museums, libraries, nail salons are also back today – reopening in the second of a three phase plan.

Recently, houses of worship began to reopen for in-person services of no more than 100 people (or 25% capacity, whichever is smaller). For outdoor services, no more than 150 people will be allowed.

RELATED: Restrictions eased on worship services; casinos reopening

The governor reported the state’s coronavirus metrics continue to trend in the right direction so gathering group numbers can be expanded. On Wednesday, indoor private gatherings can include up to 25 people, while it’s 100 people if the gathering is held outside.

Looking a little further down the line, Gov. Lamont said outdoor events could expand to 250 people.

Phase two was originally slated to take place June 20, but will instead take effect three days earlier, on Wednesday, June 17.

The move to reopen on June 17 marks a significant step, but falls short of what many in the Connecticut restaurant industry have urged – asking the governor to allow for indoor dining by June 10.

On June 4, Lamont rejected those petitions during his daily news briefing.

With the permissible reopening of business sectors listed in phase two, Lamont’s office reiterated that the choice to reopen is with individual business owners, and is not a requirement.

However, businesses that choose to reopen under phase two are required to self-certify before opening, which will be made available June 8 through the state’s self-certification website here.

Protocols listed in the complete phase two documents were developed by Gov. Lamont, members of his administration, and the Department of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with legislators and recommendations made by the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, consisting of several of the state’s leading medical experts and representatives of business and industry groups.

To view the complete documents of the state’s guidelines for phase two, visit the Sector Rule for Reopen portal on CT.gov here.

The National Federation of Business represents thousands of members in the state and they say businesses are concerned about being held accountable if someone contracts COVID-19. They want federal and state lawmakers to do something about it.

There is another concern that many restaurants won’t survive the pandemic. Speaking to one owner, they say there are still so many people staying home. He worries there won’t be enough customers to go around.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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