skip to Main Content
MSJ NEWS see latest news

Business Owners to Set Own Enforcement Rules as Connecticut Permits Vaccinated Individuals to Go Maskless Indoors Starting May 19

  • Following CDC guidance, Connecticut will permit vaccinated individuals to stop wearing masks indoors on May 19
  • Date corresponds with previous target to remove remaining COVID-19 restrictions in state
  • Businesses tasked with deciding whether they want to enforce rule that unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Following guidance issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control, Connecticut will begin permitting individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to refrain from wearing masks and observing social distancing in indoor settings starting on May 19. Governor Ned Lamont said that state officials will not be enforcing a rule requiring non-vaccinated individuals to continue wearing a mask, leaving the matter to businesses.

Connecticut is set to lift its few remaining COVID-19 business restrictions on May 19 as well. These include an 11 p.m. curfew on restaurants and indoor recreation, a requirement that food be served with any indoor alcohol service, and a 50 percent capacity limit on movie theaters and performing arts venues.

New CDC guidance issued Thursday says fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or observe social distancing in indoor environments, with exceptions including health care facilities, congregate settings, and public transportation hubs or modes including airplanes. Several states had already lifted their mask mandates before this point, but the order prompted the governors in Connecticut and six other states to announce that they would be easing their own mandates.

Several other states are proceeding more cautiously, taking the guidance under advisement and conducting further review with health officials before making a decision on their mask mandate. The CDC defers to local officials on mask policies, including local rules set by businesses.

The revised guidance creates a dilemma for businesses, requiring them to either retain their mask mandate, eliminate it, or come up with a way to have customers prove that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine in order to go maskless indoors. The issue is similar to that brought up in debates over vaccine passports, which would require people to show proof of receiving a vaccine to enter certain venues. The proposal has received strong pushback, including among business owners who say monitoring whether or not a customer has received a vaccine creates an additional burden for them.

Several companies have indicated that they plan to continue requiring customers to wear masks. Some trade organizations criticized the CDC policy as failing to consider how it might affect workers who come into contact with unvaccinated people.

The revised CDC and Connecticut guidances comes as about one-third of the United States population is fully vaccinated. Roughly 1.6 million people are fully vaccinated in Connecticut, and doses are now available to children ages 12 to 15.

Spread the Word

More To Explore

Expert Summaries

Know Your Competitors

By Denis Jakuc 

There are tons of benefits to knowing who your competitors are—what they’re offering, their strengths and weaknesses. That knowledge can help you make your products and services stand out,

Latest News

Join with Free InnovatorsLINK Account

Start accessing all the free member benefits and valuable content on the InnovatorsLINK platform. Create a BizLINK listing to boost brand exposure, receive the weekly Main Street Journal newsletter, engage in forums, get full access to free content, and more.