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Guidance For Businesses

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As of May 14, 2020

The City & County of Denver’s public health and business opening guidelines are aligned with the State of Colorado’s Safer at Home Executive Order and Public Health Order, which is currently in effect through June 1 except where indicated*. (LINK:


  • Face coverings required for customers of businesses, government services, mass transit, and ride-share *Variance from State: Denver requires face coverings
  • No gatherings over 10 people through June 1
  • Social distancing of 6-feet or more from other individuals

Activities should be limited to tasks essential to health and safety, obtaining necessary services or supplies, engaging in outdoor activity, or caring for a family member, vulnerable person or pet in another household.  Activities may also include performing work for businesses listed in the order.


  • Critical businesses must comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the CDPHE and any applicable local health department.
  • Non-critical retail such as clothing, home goods, cell phone (with 50% capacity and social distancing); limited to delivery, window service, walk-up, drive-up, curbside or in-person with strict social distancing
  • Personal services such as hair/nail salon, tattoo, pet groomer and personal trainers (with 10 or fewer people in a common business space or max of 50% occupancy, whichever is less; by appointment only, no walk-ins; strict requirements about PPE and distancing; customers to wear face coverings; provide contactless payment options)
  • Non-critical office-based businesses (with up to 50% employees for in-person work; provide hand sanitizer at entrances and high traffic locations)
  • Field services such as in-person real-estate showings, architects, home inspectors, engineers; no open houses, and must inquire whether third party house have had individuals with COVID symptoms or exposures.
  • Non-Critical Manufacturing - open with restrictions and strong precautionary measures; limited to 10 employees; must prohibit non-essential external visitors
  • Limited healthcare  with 10 or fewer people in a common business space or max of 50% occupancy, whichever is less; by appointment only, no walk-ins; patients must wear face coverings; must conduct symptom checks on patients
  • Post-secondary education with restrictions.


  • Sit-down service in bars, cigar bars, coffeehouses and other places of public accommodation (UPDATE: Please See The Restaurant Reopening Statement for the latest on sit down service)
  • Movie theaters
  • Live-performance theaters
  • Concert venues
  • Sports arenas
  • Gyms (but personal training and classes of 4 or fewer persons are permitted)
  • Indoor shopping malls (except for stores that have public entrances/exits to the outside)
  • Recreation facilities such as pools, children’s playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and amusement parks
  • Casinos and off-track betting
  • City recreation centers and libraries

All businesses must do the following to keep employees safe:

  • Designate a workplace coordinator to address COVID-19 issues
  • Maintain 6-foot separation between employees and discourage shared spaces
  • Clean and disinfect all high touch areas
  • Post signage for employees and customers on handwashing, mask-wearing, and good hygiene
  • Ensure proper ventilation (OSHA guidance)  
  • Limit or discourage in-person meetings
  • Avoid meetings or groupings of more than 10 employees, clients or customers
  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols such as temperature checks
  • Eliminate, or regularly clean and disinfect, any items in common spaces
  • Require employees with symptoms to stay home
  • Accommodate employees who are vulnerable individuals
  • Provide flexible options for employees with child or elder-care obligations
  • Provide appropriate PPE, like gloves, masks, or face coverings
  • Discourage the use of shared spaces such as breakrooms and meeting rooms
  • Consider using separate entrances and exits, with staff members counting visitors to control the number of guests at one time.
  •  Install plastic protective shields to provide protection between employees and customers

All businesses must do the following to as protective measures for customers:

  • Create special hours for vulnerable individuals when practical
  • Encourage 6-foot distancing by patrons and use of face coverings
  • Provide hand sanitizer and wipes at entrances to the greatest extent possible
  • Use contactless payment solutions when possible
  • Create signage regarding health protocols

Variance Requests

The City and County of Denver, working with the City Attorney and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, has established a process for the consideration of variance requests, with public health being a top priority of any variance approval.

For more information:

  • Check the state’s Safer-at-Home website — — for more information, including Public Health Orders and FAQs.
  • Within Denver, dial 3-1-1.  Outside Denver, dial 720-913-1311.

What are the rules for wearing a face covering, i.e., shelters?

When a person is inside or obtaining services at a business, Critical Government Function, or Healthcare Operation engaged primarily in providing congregate care, residential health care, or congregate shelter, and the individual is engaged in activities not conducive to wearing a Face Covering, such as eating or sleeping, or the individual is in an area of the facility that is not designed for community gatherings, such as a sleeping area.

What else can employers and business owners voluntarily do to promote our shared recovery?

  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols such as temperature checks
  • Limit or discourage in-person meetings
  • Discourage use of shared spaces such as breakrooms and meeting rooms
  • Consider using separate entrances and exits, with staff members counting visitors to control the number of guests at one time
  • Install plastic protective shields to provide protection between employees and customers 

Enforcing the Public Order

The city will operate on a complaint-based system and on information gathered during site visits

The public should alert the city to non-compliant business practices by calling 311

Supporting Small Businesses

In response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Hancock is establishing a Denver Economic Relief and Recovery Council (ERRC). The ERRC will assist in the relief and recovery of Denver's economy by coordinating public and private efforts to assist businesses, nonprofits, employers and workers affected by public health actions taken to prevent community spread of the virus.

The ERRC will serve as an advisory group and will provide strategic recommendations to the Mayor and the city’s executive leadership on how to mitigate and prevent further negative economic impacts of COVID-19, as well as accelerate recovery and future growth for Denver’s economy, businesses and workers. This work will include:

  • Assessing economic trends and impacts to inform relief and recovery policies and programs;
  • Providing strategic planning and direction on implementing policy and other recommendations to address COVID-19 related impacts on businesses, workers and nonprofits;
  • Providing guidance on revisiting current policies that may need to be revised to encourage and incentivize future business growth;
  • Providing any recommendations realized during committee meetings and endorsed by participants in a consensus manner.

Temporary Outdoor Expansions for Restaurants and Bars

The City and County of Denver is creating a temporary program to allow restaurants and bars to operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their businesses. The intent of the program is to allow for greater physical distancing and safety for patrons when the state’s public health orders allow restaurants and bars to resume sit-down service. While final rules and regulations are still in development, proposals could include expansion into designated outdoor areas such as adjacent parking lots, streets and sidewalks.

Testing Information

To find the latest information on testing, please visit the link below:


Face Coverings Required Signs

Face Covering Required Signs can be downloaded below for your business or other site below:

Face Covering Required Poster 11x17 (PDF)

Face Covering Required Poster 8.5x11 (PDF)

Handwashing Signs

Wash Your Hands signs can be downloaded below for your business or other site:


The city is gradually moving from an emergency response phase into one of relief and recovery. As of Wednesday, May 6, 2020, face coverings are mandatory while inside of or waiting in line to enter any retail or commercial business, or any location or facility offering government of health care services, and waiting for or riding on public transportation.

On May 9, 2020, many businesses will be allowed to re-open with 50% of employees if able to maintain six-foot physical distancing, abide by the face covering order and other guidelines.

Everyone is urged to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. We know this is a big ask of our residents and businesses, but it is a necessary step to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Have Questions or Looking For More Information?

To report an issue or for additional questions and assistance, please contact us at:

Within Denver, dial 3-1-1

Outside of Denver, dial 720-913-1311


Colorado’s call line for general questions about COVID-19 provides answers in many languages including English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话) and more.

303-389-1687 or
1-877-462-2911 (answers in English only)

 If you need medical attention, contact a health care provider.