Public Law

Connecticut’s Plan to Reopen Businesses


On April 30, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont released a four-stage plan to reopen business in Connecticut when the following conditions were met: (1) sustained 14-day decline in hospitalizations; (2) adequate testing capacity; (3) contact tracing system in place; and (4) sufficient personal protection equipment (“PPE”).  Governor Lamont identified May 20 as the tentative reopening date.

Meanwhile, on May 9, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) issued detailed rules for the business sectors that are permitted to reopen as part of Phase 1 reopening plans.  The rules stated that the safeguards will “gradually loosen” as a defined set of public health metrics are met, which is expected to occur “over the coming months through September 2020.”

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Reopening Nonessential Businesses Begins in the DMV: District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia Start to Lift COVID-19 Restrictions

On May 27, 2020, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Order 0202-067, which details the Phase One limited reopening of non-essential businesses in Washington, D.C., to begin on Friday, May 29, 2020.  The Mayor’s decision to begin to reopen D.C. follows on the heels of prior orders of Governors Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam to reopen neighboring Maryland and Virginia, respectively.  Governor Hogan allowed certain nonessential businesses in Maryland to reopen on May 15, 2020, and on May 27, 2020, he issued Order 20-05-27-01, expanding its phase one reopening.  Governor Northam’s Executive Order 61 eased certain temporary restrictions throughout most of the Commonwealth of Virginia beginning on May 15, 2020, and Executive Order 62 permits the Northern Virginia Region, Richmond, and Accomack County to begin reopening on May 29, 2020.

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The Scottish Government has now published a route map, which details a four phase approach to the removal of lockdown restrictions.

As to timings, there’s speculation the implementation of the changes will coincide with the three-weekly lockdown review cycle. Therefore, we might expect licensed outdoor areas to reopen in the second half of June. It’s anticipated that the re-opening of court and tribunal buildings (with limited business and public access) will happen before this in Phase 1, which begins today.

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New Jersey Allows Re-Opening of Outdoor Tennis and Other Recreational Businesses, with Restrictions, and Loosens Some Prior Restrictions on Golf

On May 18, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued  Executive Order 147, which allows for the resumption of certain outdoor recreational businesses (subject to conditions and restrictions), and loosens some of the restrictions that had been placed on golf courses.   Some of the provisions of Executive Order 147 took effect on May 19, 2020, and others will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020.

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To uplift the economic gloom, the Government has laid out a detailed road map towards building a self-reliant India (Aatma Nirbhar Baharat Abhiyan), with five key pillars identified as Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand (refer our newsletter of May 14, 2020 at As part of the package, the Finance Minister of India unveiled the first tranche of the economic relief package on May 13, 2020. Under the first tranche of the economic relief package, the Ministry of Finance has focused on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (“MSME”), Non-Banking Financial Companies (“NBFC”), Housing Finance Companies (“HFC”) and Micro Finance Institutions (“MFI’), DISCOM’s and Real Estate.

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MHA withdraws Order Requiring Compulsory Payment of Wages

The National Disaster Management Authority vide its order dated May 17, 2020 has extended the lockdown till May 31, 2020 but with limited restrictions. Concurrently, the National Executive Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”) vide its order dated May 17, 2020 (“MHA Order”), in exercise of its powers under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, also issued directions and guidelines for implementation of the lockdown measures.

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New Jersey Allows Re-Opening of Non-Essential Retail and Construction Business, and In-Vehicle Gatherings, with Restrictions

On May 13, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 142 , which allows for the resuming of non-essential construction projects (subject to certain conditions and restrictions), the reopening of retail businesses (curbside pickup only) and permitting public gatherings of more than 10 people so long as attendees stay in closed (or socially distant) vehicles.   Some of the provisions of Executive Order 142 take effect immediately, and others at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020.

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New Jersey Governor Extends Public Health Emergency Until June 5

On May 6, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 138, in which he extended the Public Health Emergency by 30 additional days, until June 5, due to the continuing need to protect the health, safety and welfare of New Jersians from COVID-19.  Executive Order 138 also states that all Executive Orders and actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies (including Administrative Orders) that were adopted in whole or in part based on the current Public Health Emergency will remain in full force and effect.

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Ohio businesses move towards a slow and restricted reopening

On April 30, Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued a new “Stay Safe Ohio” order that replaced the previous stay at home order and eased certain business operation restrictions. Although the order directs Ohioans to remain home, select businesses and operations in the state are permitted to reopen so long as all workplace safety standards and social distancing requirements are met.

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Texas Governor Issues Executive Order to Begin Phase One of Reopening Texas: What Employers Need to Know

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Governor Gregory Abbott announced Phase One of his much anticipated plan to reopen Texas, while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.  Governor Abbott accompanied his announcement by issuing Texas Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas (“Report”), and Executive Order No. GA-18 (“EO GA-18” or “Order”), pursuant to which all retail stores, restaurants[1], movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries are allowed to reopen on Friday, May 1, 2020, with a 25% occupancy limitation.  Within shopping malls and museums, all interactive areas must remain closed, as well as food-court dining and play areas.  EO GA-18 allows for increased occupancy limits of up to 50% in rural areas and counties with five or fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19, as verified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”).

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