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Connecticut Rolls Back Reopening to “Phase 2.1;” Restrictions Return to Some Businesses

  • Connecticut will return to a modified version of Phase 2 reopening rules starting Friday
  • Rules limit capacities and set 9:30 p.m. curfew on restaurants and entertainment venues
  • Announcement aligns with similar restrictions announced in Massachusetts

Connecticut will return to a modified version of its Phase 2 reopening rules effective Friday, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Monday. The rollback occurs just days after Lamont gave municipalities the option of imposing stricter restrictions due to spikes of COVID-19 cases in several communities.

Under the new rules, restaurants will return from 75 percent capacity to 50 percent, with a maximum of eight people per table. Restaurants and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and bowling alleys, must close by 9:30 p.m. although eateries can still provide takeout or delivery after this point. Residents were also encouraged to voluntarily abide by this curfew by ending social gatherings by 9:30 p.m. and staying home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

“Phase 2.1” also sets capacities at 25 people inside or 50 people outside for event venues, 100 people for movie theaters and performing arts venues, and 50 percent (or 100 people maximum) for religious gatherings. Businesses offering personal services, such as barbershops and nail salons, can remain at 75 percent capacity as allowed under Phase 3 rules.

The tightened restrictions were part of a collaborative effort with the governors of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Connecticut’s rules are closely aligned with those in Massachusetts, which also set a 9:30 p.m. curfew on restaurants.

Connecticut’s one-day COVID-19 positivity rate recently reached 6.1 percent, though the seven-day positivity rate has been lower at 3.6 percent. While this is below the 5 percent threshold previously suggested as the benchmark for tightening restrictions, Lamont said a rollback now can help avoid more drastic actions later on.

The Connecticut Restaurant Association was critical of the new rules for restaurants, saying they create an additional burden for these businesses and that Connecticut’s small business grant program is less robust then neighboring states. The organization previously suggested that private gatherings create more risk of COVID-19 infections and that restrictions on restaurants are misplaced.

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