WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WWLP) – Connecticut’s reopening will begin on May 20. This could give people in Massachusetts a preview of what life could look like, when our reopening phases begin.
When the weather gets nice in New England, you can bet the streets of West Hartford are full of people shopping, eating and enjoying the sunshine. But, that just hasn’t been the case this spring.
Governor Ned Lamont shut down non-essential businesses on March 23. Now, almost two months later, restaurants, shops and offices will be able to begin reopening on May 20, each with its own rules and regulations.
Restaurants will only be able to offer outdoor seating, and tables will have to be 6 feet apart, something one man told 22News, might be hard.
“It’s really hard to maintain social distancing with the amount of space restaurants have for outdoor seating,” said Nick Gallozzi from Stamford.
Mia Downey works at a pizza shop in West Hartford and told 22News she thinks things might be reopening a bit too soon.
“I think we still need like another month maybe to figure this all out, outdoor seating, I mean, you’re still pretty close, looking at that seating.”Mia Downey
But for some, those at-home haircuts just aren’t cutting it anymore and they can’t wait to get to their salon.
“People are calling in, text messaging. They are very excited – they want to feel better but they want to be safe. We are ready,” said Shari Phillips, owner of Matthew Phillips Salon. She told 22News they are preparing now for the reopening on May 20th. “Each stylist, there’s three of us working next week, will have the ability to have one client in at a time.”
Stylists will have to wear PPE, and work stations will have to be 6 feet apart. Clients will get their temperatures checked, and Phillips will ask them a series of questions to make sure everyone stays safe.
“Any sniffles, even if it’s allergies, not doing it.” – Phillips
“I think a slow progression of getting back to normal is good, as long as everyone is conscience of how crazy things are getting and how it could potentially backlash if we’re not smart, and doing the right things,” said Gallozi.
There are some businesses that aren’t included in the May 20th reopening, though. Those include gyms and nail salons. Right now, there is no timeline for when they could open.
If you do plan to head into Connecticut, it will still be required to wear a face covering when you can’t social distance.
- 35,464 people tested positive
- 3,219 people have died
- 1,103 patients are currently hospitalized
- 49,562 tests have been reported to the state
*numbers as of May 14
Malls will begin opening their doors next week in Connecticut on May 20
22News went to Westfarms in West Hartford, it’s one of the biggest and most popular malls in southern New England and many people from western Massachusetts take the trip down to shop.
The mall announced on Wednesday that it will be opening on May 20, with strict rules and regulations in place. One person told 22News she thinks it might be too soon to open up the malls.
“I feel like that’s way too soon. I think we need another month maybe to figure this all out. I feel like every single day I see more people out and about,” said Mia Downey of West Hartford.
When it opens, Westfarms will have reduced hours. A spokesperson for the mall told 22News they will be cleaning and disinfecting everything, especially high touch surfaces, turning off water fountains and removing furniture in common areas so that people are reminded to social distance.
And another popular destination in Connecticut are the casinos, located about an hour east of here.
Right now, Mohegan sun says it plans to open on Tuesday, May 26. Foxwoods hasn’t announced any opening date at this time.
One thing that most likely will not open this year in Connecticut… the fair grounds.
- On Thursday, officials announced the Durham Fair has been canceled and it plans to return in 2021.
- The Berlin Fair Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2020 Berlin Fair that was to be held September 18, 19, and 20.
- The town of Lyme announced that the Hamburg Fair has been canceled. 2020 would have marked the fair’s 119th year for the fair, hosted by the Lyme Grange.
- The Town of Branford made the difficult decision to cancel their Annual Branford Town Festival this year.
- The 2020 ShopRite Nutmeg Games and the Derby/Shelton Memorial Day Parade which was scheduled for later in May, have been canceled.
- The Windham County Agricultural Society will not present the Brooklyn Fair, which was scheduled to be held August 27 through August 30.
- All other events at the fairground through August 31 are also postponed or canceled. No decision has been made yet on events beginning in September.
WATCH LIVE: Open for Business special series weekdays starting at 5 p.m. on 22News.
- Vermont residents being optimistic but cautious as state plans to reopen
- Rhode Island’s plan to reopen is underway
- New Hampshire begins to reopen, salons, barbershops first in line