Connecticut Auto-Repair Allowed to Remain Open - Remote Sales Allowed Only
On Friday, March 20, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” Executive Order (Executive Order No. 7H: Protection of Public Health and Safety During COVID-19 Pandemic and Response – Restrictions on Workplaces for all Non-Essential Businesses, Coordinated Response Effort). Stay Safe, Stay Home mandates that businesses shall employ telecommuting procedures and that non-essential businesses “shall reduce their in-person workforces at any workplace locations by 100% not later than March 23, 2020, at 8 p.m.”
Guidance for Stay Safe, Stay Home issued by the Governor specifies that “auto supply, repair, towing, and service, including roadside assistance,” are excluded essential businesses not subject to the 100% reduction. Auto sales are specifically referred to in the guidance as one of several non-essential retail businesses that, if conducted remotely, “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 “to allow staff or third parties on-site to the minimum extent necessary to provide security, maintenance, and receipt of mail and packages” (emphasis in original).
Furthermore, it is stated that “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” (emphasis in original). Additionally, the guidelines clarify that “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.” Businesses can request designation as essential from the Department of Economic and Community Development only if they are not covered by the guidance.
Among the points outlined in the Governor’s announcement of Stay Safe, Stay Home, the following are specifically applicable to the operation of essential automobile repair and service operations:
- Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
- Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
- 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; and
- 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.