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Governor Lamont's 'Stay Safe. Stay Home. ' Initiative Details and Up-to-date Information

Safe Store Rules

Protecting Employees and Customers
Effective April 3, 2020

Safe stores mandatory statewide rules: Effective upon the opening of each retail establishment for the first time on April 3, 2020, every retail establishment in the state will be required to take additional protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between and among customers, employees, and other persons such as delivery drivers and maintenance people. The order requires the commissioner of the Economic and Community Development to issue mandatory statewide rules prescribing such additional protective measures. Such rules will be mandatory throughout the state and supersede and preempt any current or contemplated municipal order.

Immediately following Governor Lamont’s signing of this executive order, the Department of Economic and Community Development published the Safe Stores Rules on its website, outlining guidance for retail establishments. All stores must follow these rules beginning April 3.

Occupancy, store layout, and managing customer flow

  • Occupancy capped at 50% of store capacity. At entrance, staff will maintain a count of the number of customers entering and exiting stores.

  • Clearly mark 6’ spacing in lines on floor at checkout lines and other high-traffic areas and, as much as practicable, provide ways to encourage 6’ spacing in lines outside the store.

  • Post conspicuous signage and floor markings to direct customers and limit bottlenecks and/or encourage spacing and flow in high-density areas.

  • Have aisles be one-way in stores where practicable to maximize spacing between customers. Identify the one-way aisles with conspicuous signage and/or floor markings.

  • Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout lines, including, but not limited to, only using every other checkout line, where and when possible.

  • Install Plexiglas shields to separate employees from customers at checkout lines and other areas in the store where practicable.


  • Communicate with customers through in store signage, and public service announcements and advertisements, there should only be one person per household during shopping trips, whenever possible.

  • Discontinue all self-serve foods (e.g., salad bar, olive bar) and product sampling.

  • Allow “touchless” credit card transactions. If not possible, sanitize credit card machines (including pen) regularly and consistently.

  • Cart and basket handles sanitized between uses (by staff).

  • Wherever possible, employees will wear gloves and face masks at all times that they are interacting with customers and/or handling products.


Suspension of Non-Essential In-Person Business Operations

Governor Lamont has signed an executive order directing all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions, effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

Lamont's Clarification on Non-Essential Business Operations:

Clarification of Executive Order No. 7H regarding non-essential business operations: Allows non-essential retailers to take orders remotely and sell products for curbside pickup and delivery, and allows other nonessential businesses to allow the minimum staff necessary on site to handle security, maintenance, mail, and other essential services.

Business Exemptions for Coronavirus - Executive Order 7H

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described below, should ONLY be made if they are NOT covered by the following guidance.

On March 20, 2020, The Governor issued Executive Order 7H, directing all businesses and nonprofit entities in the State of Connecticut to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ.  That order also directed that, no later than March 23, 2020 at 8 p.m., each non-essential business or nonprofit entity (and therefore not including or applicable to any state or local government agencies, quasi-public agencies, political subdivisions or other entities that do not constitute businesses or nonprofits) shall reduce the in-person workforce at each business location by 100% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels.  Executive Order 7H authorized the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) to provide legally binding guidance about which businesses are essential.  Pursuant to that directive, DECD hereby issues the following guidance concerning which businesses and nonprofit entities are “essential” for purposes of Executive Order 7H.  

Nothing in this guidance shall be deemed to modify or supersede any current or future Executive Order that separately and specifically addresses a particular business or activity.  Specific businesses or activities separately addressed by other current or future Executive Orders issued pursuant to the current declared public health and civil preparedness emergency must comply with any such orders unless and until those orders are modified or terminated separately.    

THE ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR NONPROFITS DESIGNATED IN THIS GUIDANCE are not subject to the in-person restriction set forth in Executive Order 7H.  With respect to non-essential businesses and nonprofits, this guidance applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business and the steps they may take to request that designation.  

The guidelines set forth here apply to places of business. Non-essential businesses may continue activities that are conducted off-site (e.g. a customer’s home) and/or by telecommuting or working from home. 

Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 7J, issued on March 22, 2020, 1) non-essential retailers may be staffed on-site, provided that they may only offer remote ordering (e.g. phone, internet, mail, dropbox) and curb-side pick-up or delivery and 2) non-essential businesses and nonprofits to allow staff or third parties on site to the minimum extent necessary to provide security, maintenance and receipt of mail and packages. This includes, but is not limited to, auto, boat, bicycle, recreational vehicle, and all other vehicle sales, if conducted remotely. 

To the extent possible, employees of Essential Businesses whose duties are not critical to an Essential Business function described below should telecommute or utilize any work from home procedures available to them.  

For purposes of Executive Order 7H, “essential business,” means:

1. Essential workers in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors, as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security unless otherwise addressed in a prior or future executive order pertaining to the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency.

2. Healthcare and related operations including:
biotechnology therapies
consumer health products and services
doctor and dentist offices
elder care, including adult day care
health care plans and health care data
home health care workers or aides
manufacturing, distributing, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, including research and development
medical marijuana dispensaries and producers
medical supplies and equipment providers, including devices, diagnostics, services, and any other healthcare related supplies or services
medical wholesale and distribution
nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
physical therapy and chiropractic offices
research and laboratory services, including testing and treatment of COVID-19
veterinary and animal health services
walk-in-care health facilities

3. Infrastructure including:
commercial trucking
dam maintenance and support
education-related functions at the primary, secondary, or higher education level to provide support for students, including distribution of meals or faculty conducting e-learning
hotels and other places of accommodation
water and wastewater operations, systems, and businesses
telecommunications and data centers
transportation infrastructure including bus, rail, for-hire vehicles and vehicle rentals, and garages
utilities including power generation, fuel supply, and transmission

4. All manufacturing and corresponding supply chains, including aerospace, agriculture, and related support businesses

5. Retail including:
appliances, electronics, computers, and telecom equipment
big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries, consumer health products, or operate a pharmacy
convenience stores
gas stations
grocery stores including all food and beverage retailers
guns and ammunition
hardware, paint, and building material stores, including home appliance sales/repair
liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees
pet and pet supply stores

6. Food and agriculture, including:
farms and farmer’s markets
food manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution facilities 
nurseries, garden centers, and agriculture supply stores
restaurants/bars (provided compliance with all applicable executive orders is maintained)

7. Services including:
accounting and payroll services
animal shelters or animal care or management, including boarding, grooming, pet walking and pet sitting 
auto supply, repair, towing, and service, including roadside assistance
bicycle repair and service
building cleaning and maintenance
child care services
critical operations support for financial institutions
financial advisors
financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and check cashing services
funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries
insurance companies
laundromats/dry cleaning
legal and accounting services
mail and shipping services
marinas and marine repair and service
news and media
real estate transactions and related services, including residential leasing and renting
religious services (subject to Executive Order 7D limiting gatherings to 50 people)
storage for Essential Businesses
trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing
warehouse/distribution, shipping, and fulfillment

8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:
food banks
homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support social service agencies

9. Construction including:
all skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers 
general construction, both commercial and residential
other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
planning, engineering, design, bridge inspection, and other construction support activities

10. Services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of all residences and other buildings (including services necessary to secure and maintain non-essential workplaces):
building cleaners or janitors
building code enforcement
emergency management and response
fire prevention and response
general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
home-related services, including real estate transactions, closings, appraisals, and moving services
landscaping services
law enforcement
outdoor maintenance, including pool service
pest control services
security and maintenance, including steps reasonably necessary to secure and maintain non-essential businesses
state marshals

11. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care, and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public including: 
billboard leasing and maintenance
child care services
essential government services
government owned or leased buildings
information technology and information security
technology support

12. Defense 
defense and national security-related business and operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an Essential Business.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should ONLY be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

To request designation as an Essential Business, please click here.

Restrictions on requesting designation as an Essential Business:
Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (e.g. attendant) is deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an Essential Business.

If you have further questions not answered above, please submit them to DECD at


CT Patch article excerpt from March 21, 2020:
Lamont's 'Stay Safe, Stay Home' Order Explained

Gov. Ned Lamont has declared that non-essential businesses close in CT Monday. Here is a full list of exempt businesses.

Gov. Ned Lamont also released new details concerning his "Stay Safe, Stay Home" executive order he signed late Friday, which is in effect as of 8 p.m. Monday, March 23.

"At this critical time it is essential that everyone just stay home so we can contain the spread of this virus while keeping essential services running," Lamont said. "I know that this will be disruptive to many and will bring many daily activities to a halt, but the only way we will be able to mitigate the impacts of this public health emergency is to take measures like this. I appreciate everyone's cooperation, and I especially want to thank the essential workers who are needed to keep critical services running."

Lamont's plan recommends that state residents do the following:
  1. Effective 8 p.m. Monday, March 23, all non-essential businesses statewide should close;
  2. Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
  3. If you must leave your home, do not travel in groups - groups must be limited to workers providing essential services;
  4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
  5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
  6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
  7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
  8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
  9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
  10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.

Restrictions on workplaces for non-essential business

The order directs all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions if they are able to, effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8 p.m. The governor is encouraging all businesses to employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures that they can safely implement.

The governor's order excludes any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar critical services.

Detailed List Of What's Considered An 'Essential Business' And Yes Liquor Stores Are Considered 'Essential'

Not later than 8 p.m. on March 22, 2020, the Department of Economic and Community Development ("DECD") shall issue lawfully binding guidance about which businesses are essential.

Here is an updated list by the Governor's Office On Businesses Defined As Essential

Essential health care operations including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, elder care and home health care workers, companies and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, health care data, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services and any other healthcare related supplies or services; essential infrastructure, including utilities, wastewater and drinking water, telecommunications, airports and transportation infrastructure; manufacturing, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, and industries supplying the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military; the defense industrial base, including aerospace, mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers.

Also considered essential are essential retail, including grocery stores and big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries; pharmacies, gas stations and convenience stores; food and beverage retailers (including liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees) and restaurants, provided they comply with previous and future executive orders issued during the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency; essential services including trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing, mail and shipping services; news media; legal and accounting services; banks, insurance companies, check cashing services, and other financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services and goods necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, including pest control and landscaping services; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and the provision of goods, services or functions necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Any other business may be deemed essential after requesting an opinion from DECD, which shall review and grant such request, should it determine that it is in the best interest of the state to have the workforce continue at full capacity to properly respond to this emergency.
CT Patch article cont...


Governor Lamont CT Alert phone message on COVID-19
March 22, 2020

Transcript of Governor Lamont’s phone call:
This is Governor Ned Lamont. I’m calling to urge you personally: Stay safe, stay home. I’m not ordering you to stay home, I’m strongly urging you to stay home to make sure that you and your neighbors are much less likely to be infected by the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.
If you must head out to the grocery store, or pharmacy, pick up takeout from your favorite restaurant, that’s fine. I’ll be taking a long walk with Annie to get some fresh air, but remember to keep your distance from passers by.
Seventy years or older? Stay home.
And for those of you who can work from home, that’s best but check with your boss, first.
For the latest updates, follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
We will get through this crisis by working together.

State of Connecticut Emergency Alerting and Notification System (CT Alert)
Sign up for CT Alert here


Executive Order No. 7H
Protection of Public Health and Safety During COVID-19 Pandemic and Response -- Restrictions on Workplaces for non-essential businesses, coordinated response effort
Click here for Governor Lamont's Executive Order