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Connecticut Business Restrictions Lifted Today; Masking Rules Remain in Certain Venues

  • Connecticut lifting all remaining business restrictions today
  • Changes include allowing theaters to operate at full capacity, permitting bars to reopen, and eliminating table size limits and curfews on restaurants
  • Updated mask protocols say fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks in indoor settings, with some exceptions

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Connecticut is lifting its remaining business restrictions effective today, the culmination of a gradual easing of COVID-19 sector rules that began with the lifting of most capacity caps on March 19.

The remaining restrictions that will be lifted today include:

  • An eight-person table size limit for indoor service at restaurants
  • A midnight curfew on restaurants, indoor recreation, and theaters
  • A requirement that food service accompany indoor alcohol service, meaning bars will be permitted to reopen
  • A 50 percent capacity limit on movie theaters and performing arts venues
  • Capacity limits on various events and venues, including commercial venues, private gatherings, graduations, fairs, festivals, carnivals, and outdoor venues and organized events

The state will also lift capacity limits at larger venues, having previously permitted outdoor venues to reopen at 50 percent capacity up to 10,000 people and indoor stadiums to reopen at 10 percent capacity. The Connecticut Department of Public Health is expected to issue recommendations today on protocols for large events, such as concerts.

The lifting of restrictions was contingent on a continuing trend of low incidences of COVID-19 infections and strong vaccination numbers. On Tuesday, the daily test positivity rate was 1.12 percent while the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped to 168. The latest vaccination data, released Monday, indicates that about 1.69 million Connecticut residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order to enact updated mask protocols issued Monday. The new rules, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, state that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or observe social distancing in indoor settings.

All individuals are still required to wear masks on public transit, including ride-sharing services and commercial aircraft, as well as in public transit stations, homeless shelters, and correctional institutions. Businesses, nonprofits, government offices, and other entities may still require universal masking. The order also states that the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Early Childhood retain the authority to issue their own operational rules, which would include mask requirements for schools and child care facilities.

Following an extension of Lamont’s emergency powers, the rule will remain in place until July 20 unless terminated or modified at an earlier date.

Today also marks the start of Connecticut’s “Drinks Are On Us” campaign, with participating restaurants offering patrons one free alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks when they demonstrate that they have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The incentive runs through the end of the month, and a full list of participating venues is here.

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