A sign notifying the public of closure of nonessential businesses due to public health mandate 11 can be seen in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 1, 2020. Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued guidelines allowing nonessential businesses to operate in a limited capacity on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign notifying the public of closure of nonessential businesses due to public health mandate 11 can be seen in Soldotna, Alaska, on April 1, 2020. Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued guidelines allowing nonessential businesses to operate in a limited capacity on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Getting back to business

Mandate offers guidelines for nonessential businesses.

Health mandate 16 was issued by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday evening and goes into effect at 8 a.m. on April 24. The mandate offers a list of specific guidelines for nonessential businesses who wish to resume operations starting Friday. The guidelines look different depending on the type of business. Here’s a look at how the businesses are being divided and what regulations apply to each.

General guidelines: These guidelines apply to all businesses, regardless of industry, that plan to resume operations starting Friday.

■ Fabric face coverings must be worn by all employees.

■ A COVID-19 mitigation plan must be established that addresses the practices and protocols in place to protect staff and the public. This plan must be included in entryway signage and must clearly state that people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 may not enter.

■ Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained between non-household members.

■ Frequently touched areas — workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs and restrooms — must be sanitized hourly.

■ Employees must be trained on new sanitation requirements and be provided a copy of the COVID-19 mitigation plan.

■ Employers must screen employees prior to each shift and maintain a screening log.

■ Any employee showing symptoms of COVID-19 must not report to work.

■ No employee can report to the work site within 72 hours of having a fever.

■ Employers must establish a plan for when employees get sick that follows CDC guidance.

Nonessential, public facing businesses: These guidelines, found in Attachment D of the mandate, apply to businesses that interact with the public but were not previously classified as “essential services and critical infrastructure” in health mandate 11. Restaurants and retail stores are not included in this category and have similar but separate guidelines.

■ Walk-ins are prohibited for these businesses, and business must be done by reservation or appointment only.

■ No more than 20 customers or 25% of the building’s maximum occupancy, whichever is smaller, are allowed at any one time.

■ Outdoor businesses are not limited by number of customers, but social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained between people and households.

■ Groups must be limited to household members only.

■ Hand-washing or sanitizing must be available at the customer entrance and in communal spaces. Businesses should have an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer and paper towels available.

■ Cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted weekly in compliance with CDC protocols. If those protocols cannot be followed, the business must shut down for at least 72 consecutive hours per week to allow for natural deactivation of the virus.

■ If an active employee tests positive for COVID-19, CDC-compliant cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted as soon as possible.

Nonessential businesses requiring in-home services

These guidelines apply to businesses where the service is offered inside a person’s home, including installation of furniture and appliances and noncritical inspections and appraisals.

■ Fabric face coverings must be worn by all workers and residents of the home.

■ Social distancing of at least 6 feet is maintained between people of different households.

■ Workers must wash and/or sanitize their hands immediately after entering and leaving the home.

■ Workers must sanitize any surfaces worked on and must provided their own cleaning and sanitation supplies.

Retail businesses: These guidelines apply specifically to retail businesses that interact with the public and are included in Attachment E of mandate 16.

■ Only one adult per household is allowed inside per visit.

■ Fabric face coverings must be worn by all employees and patrons.

■ No more than 20 customers or 25% of the building’s maximum occupancy, which ever is smaller, are allowed at any one time.

■ Hand-washing or sanitizing must be available at the customer entrance and in communal spaces. Businesses should have an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer and paper towels available.

■ Cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted weekly in compliance with CDC protocols. If those protocols cannot be followed, the business must shut down for at least 72 consecutive hours per week to allow for natural deactivation of the virus.

■ If an active employee tests positive for COVID-19, CDC-compliant cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted as soon as possible.

■ Encouraged best practices for retail businesses include allowing for entryway, curbside or home delivery, telephonic and online ordering for contact-less pickup and delivery and cashless and receipt-less transactions.

Restaurants offering dine-in services

These guidelines, found in Attachment F of the mandate, apply to restaurants only. Bars must remain closed, and restaurants with bars must keep their bar areas closed.

■ Owners must develop a COVID-19 mitigation plan that minimizes direct contact between employees and customers and increases physical distancing.

■ Groups are limited to household members only.

■ Indoor capacity must not exceed 25% based on factors such as square footage and fire code capacity.

■ Tables must be a minimum of 10 feet apart.

■ Up to 20 tables are permitted for outside seating, but they must be spaced at least 10 feet apart.

■ Walk-ins are prohibited, and seating is limited to reservations only.

■ Disposable utensils, dishes and containers should be used when available.

■ Condiments should be in single-use disposable packets. Reusable condiment containers must be sanitized between customers.

■ Tables and chairs should be fully sanitized between each customer.

■ Disposable menus should be provided, if possible. Otherwise, menus and menu boards must be sanitized between uses.

■ Sanitizer should be available at each table and customer entrance.

■ Frequently touched areas must be sanitized hourly.

■ Employees must wash hands frequently, and an adequate supply of soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer and paper towels should be available.

Personal care services: These guidelines apply to businesses including, but not limited to, hair salons, tanning facilities, tattoo shops and day spas. These guidelines can be found in Attachment G of the mandate. Any sanitation protocols that are required in state licensing regulations and are more stringent than those listed must be followed.

■ Walk-ins are prohibited, and business must be conducted by reservation only.

■ No person is allowed to stay in waiting areas. Waiting areas should not have any reading material or beverages available.

■ Only the customer receiving the service may enter the shop. Exceptions can be made for parents or guardians accompanying minors or individuals with disabilities.

■ Services are limited to one customer per staff person.

■ No more than 10 people, including staff and clients, should be in the building at any time.

■ Customers must be contacted over the phone prior to the visit to screen for COVID-19 symptoms, recent travel or exposure to people with COVID-19.

■ Social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained between customer-employee pairs.

■ Workstations must be greater than 6 feet apart.

■ Service providers must wear surgical masks, at a minimum. Cloth face coverings are not sufficient.

■ Customers must wear cloth face coverings and wash and sanitize hands upon arrival. Face coverings for customers may be removed briefly when necessary to perform services, but must be worn at all other times.

■ Frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected at least every four hours.

■ Anything within 6 feet of customer seats must be cleaned and disinfected hourly and after each customer.

■ Visible dirty surfaces must be cleaned immediately.

■ Aprons must be worn by licensed practitioners, changed between each patron and cleaned and disinfected before reusing.

■ Customer capes are single-use only or must be cleaned and disinfected before reusing.

■ Businesses must have a designated employee on-site to ensure sanitation procedures are followed.

Non-public facing businesses: These guidelines apply to businesses that are considered nonessential and whose services do not typically involve interaction with the general public. Attachment H of the mandate contains these guidelines.

■ All occupied work spaces must be at least 6 feet apart.

■ Any high-risk employees must be provided an alternate work space to avoid contact with colleagues.

■ Employers should make efforts to allow remote working wherever possible.

■ Frequently touched areas must be sanitized daily.

Anyone with questions regarding health mandate 16 or any other aspect of Alaska’s COVID-19 response can email the state at covidquestions@alaska.gov. Businesses and employers can more find information on CDC guidelines at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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