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Lamont Seeks to Lift All Connecticut Business Restrictions on May 19

  • Governor Ned Lamont announces plan to lift several business restrictions on May 1 and all remaining business restrictions on May 19
  • Moves will be contingent on continuance of low COVID-19 infections and ongoing improvements in vaccination numbers
  • Rules on masking to be determined in the coming weeks

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Governor Ned Lamont is planning for Connecticut to return to a “new normal” in a month, with all business restrictions set to be lifted next month.

Lamont is expecting to begin this transition on May 1 by eliminating several remaining business restrictions, with the remainder to be phased out on May 19. These actions will be contingent on a continued trend of a low COVID-19 infection rate and ongoing improvements in vaccination rates.

Connecticut lifted capacity limits on most businesses on March 19. The state’s infection rate increased for a time after that date, with some health experts associating it with the loosened restrictions, but has since fallen again. On Tuesday, the daily positivity rate stood at 2.68 percent.

On May 1, Connecticut will push back an 11 p.m. curfew on restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation venues, and theaters to midnight. Lamont said this extended curfew aligns Connecticut with New York’s rules and allows restaurants to schedule second seatings.

The revised rules for May 1 also aim to allow the food and beverage industry to host outdoor get-togethers as warmer days arrive. A cap on eight people per table will be lifted for outdoor dining, but remain in place for indoor dining. Bars that do not serve food will be permitted to serve customers outdoors, although they will still be prohibited from serving alcohol indoors.

On May 19, one day before Lamont’s emergency powers are set to expire, all remaining business restrictions are set to be lifted. These include the ban on indoor bar service, a 50 percent capacity limit at movie theaters and performing arts venues, and capacity caps on event venues and other large gatherings.

The Department of Public Health will issue recommendations on major events as well as clarifications on where masking should continue. Lamont expects that indoor masking will continue, but that he will work with the legislature in the coming weeks on whether masks will be mandated or simply recommended.

Lamont said Connecticut is doing well with vaccinations, and hopes that the state will be able to reach herd immunity once the vaccination rate among the state’s youngest residents increases. Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines extended to all residents ages 16 and older on April 1.

Approximately 2.7 million residents had received at least one vaccine dose as of Monday, including 1.11 million who are fully vaccinated. Sixty-one percent of eligible adults in Connecticut have received at least one dose.

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