HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Governor Ned Lamont announced phasing out COVID-19 restrictions for businesses on Monday.
The easing of restrictions will begin on May 1.
Lamont said the curfew for businesses will go from 11 p.m. to midnight. Bars will be able to reopen and there will be no limits on table sizes.
As of May 19, Lamont said all remaining business restrictions will be ended. That means any curfews will be lifted and social distancing mandates will be up to businesses.
People will have to continue to wear masks inside.
"We spent an hour or two Sunday morning going over all the different iterations, where we were on vaccinations and where we though we could open up safely. Think about the economy and knowing the economy will never come back unless public health is front and center, and we wanted to get the right balance there," Governor Ned Lamont said.
The Dept. of Public Health will issue recommendations for safe operation of indoor and large outdoor events.
"An outside culture is relatively safer than being indoors. We had a spike during Thanksgiving, Christmas, January, that's not as much of a risk in those warmer cultures, Texas and Florida. Now, we're going to be outside on May 1 and outside gives us some confidence a little like last year," Lamont said.
Shortly after the announcement, the Connecticut Restaurant Association applauded the new plans.
The Connecticut Restaurant Association's Executive Director Scott Dolch released a statement saying, “More than a year after this pandemic began, local restaurant owners and employees can finally see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Scott Dolch, Executive Director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. “Today’s news gives restaurants a plan and a timeline for recovery. It’s possible because of the incredible job Connecticut has done fighting COVID, from the tireless work of local business owners and employees to put safety first, to the nation-leading efforts by Gov. Lamont and his team to get our population vaccinated. To that end, our association will continue urging our members, their employees, and their patrons to get vaccinated -- the faster we move on from this pandemic, the faster our businesses and our economy can recover. We are extremely grateful to the Governor for his partnership, and for laying out this path to a new normal for restaurants. Connecticut restaurants know they will need to continue their vigilance when it comes to heightened safety and cleaning measures, and they’ve proven they are up to that challenge. Our association and its members are committed to those efforts, and committed to helping Connecticut continue to be a leader on vaccinations. Together, we have proven that we can put public health first without losing sight of our local economy.”
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