Human Resources, Safety

COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines by Business Type

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about mass closure of businesses and stay-home orders across the entire U.S., which has led to huge losses and hardships for business owners. However, that time is coming to an end, as businesses now have been allowed to reopen to some extent while following proper reopening guidelines. Generally, everything won’t come back immediately and there will be several challenges, but the state governments are trying to bring businesses back to stability.

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Nevertheless, the COVID-19 reopening guidelines have provided you with a chance of reopening your doors again, regardless of the type of your business. This requires a lot of planning and precautions before reopening your business. Thus, the aim of this article is to provide you with an overview of the COVID-19 reopening guidelines for businesses in different industries.

As the economy reopens across America, one of the greatest challenges facing businesses is serving customers while maintaining hygiene and low-risk environments. However, the challenges vary depending on the business type.

1. Retail Stores


– Make clear and realistic goals.

– Set specific working hours based on the cost of operation, employee availability, and local regulations.

– Make clear decisions on your staffing levels–e.g., whether to keep your original workforce or lower your working hours.

– Make arrangements with your supplier for timely delivery or find a different supplier.

– Make a reopening plan while involving all stakeholders, including local authorities.

– Set strict hygiene rules, following the local and state guidelines.

– Train your workers on the hygiene and sanitation guidelines in place.

– Ensure that all the safety and security systems are working properly.

– Make one-way traffic throughout the store with floor markings.

– Put a reopening notice outside your store.


– Install hand sanitizing stations.

– Take and monitor the workers’ temperatures every day.

– Install social distancing guidelines and COVID-19 safety measures display for customers.

– Clean and disinfect surfaces with high contact regularly.

– Enforce wearing of face masks by customers.

– Allow and provide contactless payment options.

2. Restaurants and Bars


– Contact local and state officials for reopening guidelines.

– Have the current FDA and CDC operating regulations.

– Have your working hours updated and decide on your staffing levels.

– Teach employees about safety and hygiene measures.

– Install local occupancy seating restrictions.

– Make proper arrangements with suppliers.

– Update your menu.

– Stagger the workstations.

– Have the local COVID-19 and CDC guidelines displayed.

– Install hand sanitizing stations.

– Allow and provide contactless operations.


– Provide masks and gloves to kitchen staff.

– Check employees’ health and temperature before their shift.

– Discourage clouding and install social distancing measures.

– No serving buffet-style or in a salad bar.

– Disinfect tables and menus regularly after each use.

– Follow local capacity limits strictly.

3. Movie, Concert, and Recreation Venues


– Contact local officials for a safety reopening plan.

– Follow local capacity limits strictly.

– Leave open seats between parties for movies and seated shows.

– Sanitize reusable customer items and equipment after each use.


– Encourage remote ticketing buying options.

– Install electronic ticketing kiosks.

– Check employees’ health and temperature before their shift.

– Ensure workers wear gloves and masks.

– Put social distancing protocols in place with floor markings.

4. Gyms and Fitness


– Consult health officials for COVID-19 reopening regulations.

– Educate staff on COVID-19 safety measures.

– Encourage wearing masks and gloves.

– Follow legal occupancy limits strictly.

– No showers, and regulate the number of people in the locker rooms.

– Close the steam rooms, jacuzzies, and saunas until notified.

– Ensure all safety and security systems are working.

– Provide virtual fitness lessons.

– Ensure and remind customers and staff to follow social distancing measures.

– Install hand sanitizing stations.


– Check employees’ health and temperature before their shift.

– Encourage workers and customers to wear masks.

– Encourage customers to wipe the equipment before and after use.

– Assign staff to enforce and monitor social distancing protocols.

– Forbid activities that require bodily contact.

– Clean and disinfect all equipment frequently.

5. Hair Salons, Spas, Barbershops, and Cosmetology


– Consult health experts for safety reopening guidelines.

– Follow and notify employees and customers about local capacity limits.

– Use EPA-approved sanitizers to clean and disinfect the facility before reopening.

– Install alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations.


– Check customers’ and employees’ temperature using a contactless infrared thermometer.

– Ensure employees use face masks and gloves.

– Provide and encourage cashless payment methods.

– Regulate the number of customers and create outside waiting areas.

– Clean and disinfect all the equipment after use.

– Encourage customers to wash hair at home.

– Ensure workers clean their hands with soap frequently, after each service.

– Clean and disinfect surfaces with frequent touches regularly.

– Install floor markings to enhance social distancing.

6. Childcare Businesses


– Consult health experts and local officials to get a safe reopening plan.

– Educate workers on safety hygienic measures and notify them on the risks of working in the facility.

– Follow the capacity limits strictly.

– Clean and disinfect the whole area before reopening.

– Remove everything the children can eat.

– Email customers about the reopening, the risks involved, and discourage children exhibiting high temperatures or other symptoms.


– Clean and disinfect everything before opening and closing every day.

– Check children’s and employees’ temperature using a contactless infrared thermometer on arrival.

– Set lessons for teaching children the need for hygiene and sanitation.

– Ask children how they feel on arrival.

– Ensure employees wear masks and regularly wash their hands, as well as the children.

– Always have a qualified nurse within the facility.

– Restrict activities involving close contact.

For industry-specific and general, small-business resources, along with the full guide, see’s COVID-19 Guide to Reopening Your Business. As one of the premier websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the U.S., you may find other helpful resources via their main portal,

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