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Lamont defines ‘essential’ businesses that can remain in operation after Monday

Gov. Ned Lamont. (Mark Pazniokas, CTMirror.org)

Gov. Ned Lamont clarified his work ban on non-essential services late Sunday, carving out dozens of exemptions centered on key areas like child and health care, food, law enforcement, utilities and transportation, finances and insurance.

Also included on that list of essentials that can keep operating are guns and ammunition retailers and package stores.

The administration posted dozens of examples of businesses that can remain open Monday at 8 p.m. when the ban on non-essentials takes effect.

“I know this pandemic has brought disruption to all of our lives, but we need to pull together as a community and practice social distancing in order to reduce the spread of this virus and protect the well-being of our neighbors and our loved ones,” Lamont said. “We can’t ignore the facts, which prove that efforts like this are the best way to slow down its impact. I cannot say it enough – if you can, the best thing to do is to stay safe and stay home.”

The governor identified 11 broad job categories, some with more than a dozen examples of exemptions to the work ban:

  • Health care: This includes not just hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, but also physical therapists, home healthcare services, medical marijuana dispensaries, research labs and drug and other medical manufacturers.
  • Infrastructure: Involving airline bus and other transportation services, telecommunications, utilities, power generation, trucking and hotels.
  • Manufacturing: This includes all related suppliers.
  • Retail: Includes gasoline stations, convenience stores, grocery stores — including department retailers who sell groceries — hardware and appliance shops.
  • Food and Agriculture: Including restaurants — who can provide take-out and delivery service only, nurseries, farms and farmers’ markets.
  • General Services: This broad categories covers everything from legal and banks and financial support services to insurance companies and real estate agencies. Child-care services, auto and marine vessel maintenance, news media, trash collection and recycling also are exempt.
  • Services for the poor: Includes food banks, homeless shelters and human service providers.
  • Construction: This includes not only companies, but all skilled trades workers, electricians and plumbers.
  • Sanitation and Public Safety: This includes not only janitors, but also building inspectors, landscaping and pest control services. It includes law enforcement personnel as well as private security and maintenance staff.
  • Other essential services: This covers child care services, information technology support, government services and billboard leasing.
  • Defense: Includes U.S. government contractors and other businesses related to national security.

Some non-essential businesses can keep limited staff on the job

The governor’s order also allows non-essential retailers to take orders remotely and sell products for curbside pickup and delivery.

It permits nonessential businesses to allow the minimum staff necessary on site to handle security, maintenance, mail, and other essential services.

Lamont, who developed the guidelines with the Department of Economic and Community Development [DECD,] is encouraging all businesses to employ telecommuting or work-from-home procedures whenever possible.

There is a waiver process, but DECD Commisisoner David Lehman said “I encourage residents and business to review the guidance carefully and apply for a waiver only if they deem necessary. DECD will also be launching more assistance for small and medium businesses who are impacted by COVID-19 in the coming days.”

To assist Connecticut firms, the department has established a Business Emergency Response Unit, which can be reached by calling 860-500-2333.

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