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Connecticut Returns to Phase 2 Reopening Restrictions; Restaurants Protest Curfew

  • Following increase in COVID-19 cases, Connecticut proceeds with rollback to Phase 2 of reopening
  • Capacity limits tightened as Department of Economic and Community Development receives authority to establish mandatory closing times for any businesses or establishments
  • Some restaurant owners raise objections to curfew requiring them to shut their doors by 9:30 p.m.

Connecticut will return to Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Friday, tightening rules on maximum capacities and other business restrictions. Residents are also advised to limit the size of private social gatherings, which have been blamed for significant outbreaks of COVID-19, to 10 people.

The rollback was announced earlier this week in response to an uptick in COVID-19 infections in Connecticut. It follows approximately one month of more relaxed rules under Phase 3 of the reopening plan and reverts to statewide standards, repealing an executive order allowing authorities in municipalities with higher infection rates to tighten their business restrictions.

Governor Ned Lamont announced Thursday that the Department of Economic and Community Development will be granted authority to enact sector rules for the safe conduct of youth sports and to establish mandatory closing times for any businesses or establishments.

Capacity limits include 25 people inside or 50 people outside at event venues and 100 people at movie theaters or performing arts venues. Residents are advised to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are essential workers or need to leave for emergency reasons or to pick up essential items such as food or medical supplies. Lamont says the goal of this curfew is not only to limit the spread of the virus but also to make contact tracing easier.

Restaurants must cap their indoor dining capacities at 50 percent, seat no more than eight people at one table, and close at 9:30 p.m. The state also extended its current provisions on outdoor dining tents and the requirement that certain establishments cannot sell alcohol without the sale of food through Feb. 9.

Certain eateries have protested the restaurant rules, with some owners saying they make the bulk of their revenues later than 9:30 p.m. A petition asking for the lifting of the curfew was nearing 10,000 signatures on Thursday evening.

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