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Connecticut Updates Business Rules, Repeals Mandatory Travel Advisory, Opens Vaccination Eligibility to 45+

  • Relaxed sector rules for businesses and organizations go into effect in Connecticut today
  • State’s vaccination eligibility expands to residents and workers ages 45 and older
  • Governor Ned Lamont signs executive order lifting mandatory travel advisory and self-quarantine requirements

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Just over a year after Governor Ned Lamont declared public health and civil preparedness emergencies in Connecticut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is relaxing several business restrictions. Connecticut is also lifting its mandatory travel advisory and associated self-quarantine requirements, and advancing to the next stage of its COVID-19 vaccination distribution.

The Department of Economic and Community Development has updated its sector rules for businesses and organizations, effective today. As previously announced, most capacity limits are being lifted but businesses and organizations must still require social distancing, mask wearing, and proper cleaning and disinfection protocols.

One new rule permits musical performers and vocalists at restaurants, indoor and outdoor events, and performing arts venues. The DECD says performers should be at least 12 feet away from any patrons or workers, and that businesses are “strongly encouraged” to require performers to test negative for COVID-19 at least 72 hours prior to their performance.

Certain restrictions remain in place, including a requirement that restaurants limit table capacities to eight people, a 50 percent capacity limit on movie theaters and performing arts venues, and an 11 p.m. curfew for several businesses. Bars that only serve beverages are still prohibited from reopening, and no standing bar service is permitted outside of private events.

Lamont also signed an executive order repealing two previous actions taken in response to the pandemic, effective today. One repeals a mandatory travel advisory, which also required travelers entering Connecticut to self-quarantine after spending more than 24 hours in certain locations. The Connecticut Department of Public Health still recommends that residents limit travel to curtail COVID-19 transmission.

The order also removes capacity limits on religious, spiritual, and worship gatherings. Social distancing and masks are still required for attendees of these services, though “designated speakers speaking from designated safe locations” are not required to wear mask.

In addition, today marks the next step of Connecticut’s age-based COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Anyone ages 45 and older who lives and works in the state can schedule a vaccination appointment. Vaccine eligibility is tentatively scheduled to open to anyone ages 16 and up on April 5.

As of Thursday, a total of 536,736 people in Connecticut had been fully vaccinated. Sixty-two percent of those ages 55 and older, and 33 percent of those ages 16 and older, had received at least one dose.

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