Kentucky begins to reopen on Monday. Here’s what you need to know.

Monday begins Phase 1 of Gov. Andy Beshear’s Healthy at Work reopening of businesses in Kentucky.

The initial series of companies to reopen largely include businesses with limited face-to-face contact — manufacturing, construction, automobile and boat dealerships, office-based businesses at 50 percent capacity, racetracks without fans, photography, and pet care and grooming.

Beshear has released 10 rules that all businesses must follow, including wearing face masks, providing hand sanitizer, conducting onsite temperature and health checks, and referring ill employees for testing.

Beshear said last week that the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has procured 20,000 3-ply masks for businesses to provide for their employees. They can be purchased for $1 each at The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has also agreed to sell hand sanitizers to Kentucky businesses at

  • For non-essential manufacturers returning to operation, the guidelines require staggered work shifts and breaks to avoid a lot of people coming at the same time. Where people are not able stay six feet apart, companies must put up physical barriers. Employees will have to wipe down their workstation with disinfectant when their finished working. Business will have to do away with time clocks that everyone touches.
  • On construction sites, some of which have remained open during the pandemic, the regulations say all employees must wear face masks and encourages businesses to phase in employees returning to worksites.
  • Automobile and boat dealerships are only allowed to have 25 percent capacity in their showrooms. The guidelines say all paperwork should be completed electronically and that businesses should communicate with customers over the phone when possible. Customers must be allowed to test drive vehicles without an employee present to maintain social distancing.
  • Office-based businesses are allowed to reopen with 50 percent capacity. Employees must wear masks unless they are in a personal office or if wearing a mask will risk their health or safety. The guidelines encourage online documents rather than paper documents and suggest that meetings be conducted via telephone.
  • Racetracks will only be open to authorized employees, meaning fans, media and guests will remain away from the track. The people supporting a horse that is stabled at a track are required to remain in the barn, dormitories or tack house unless they’re going to and from the track, doing laundry, picking up food or using the bathroom.
  • The guidelines for pet care, grooming and boarding are relatively simple. The owner must take the leash or collar off the pet and deliver it curbside in a crate or into an entry room. Workers should not have any contact with customers and payment must be done over the phone or internet.
  • Beshear added a seventh business category that is allowed to open; photography. State regulations say photographers will be allowed to operate so long as they only take photos of family units. The guidelines say if the photographer is taking a photograph of people who live in different households, those people should stay six feet apart. The guidelines also say all photography should be done outside unless an in-studio session is essential.

A continuation of the Phase 1 reopening of Kentucky’s economy begins on May 20 with retail businesses and houses of worship. On May 25, businesses with close person-to-person contact will reopen, including barber shops, salons and other cosmetology businesses.

By Ken Howlett, News Director

Contact Ken at