mask mandate

Bars, Restaurants & Customers Prepare for First Weekend With Indoor Mask Mandates

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If you're headed out this weekend, you may need your mask depending on the area you're in after several cities and towns issued mask mandates to help cut down on the transmission of COVID-19.

New Haven was the first city to announce an indoor mask mandate. The City of Hartford also announced a new mask mandate indoors on Tuesday. Cities and towns are issuing their own mandates after Gov. Ned Lamont granted them the ability to issue mask requirements.

In Hartford, those 2 years old and older will need a mask regardless of their vaccination status. If you fail to comply you can expect to pay a $100 fine.

Inside J's Restaurant in Hartford, masks were seen on both staff and customers.

Mask sign at the front entrance of J Restaurant and Bar.

"We've been expecting it, in fact most of my guests come in wearing a mask prior to the mandate in Hartford," said Jordan Dikegoros, owner of J Restaurant. "We're just hoping that it doesn't go further and we have to get into the spacing and minimizing, a 50% capacity type of deal."

In New Haven, similar mask guidance is in effect and some bars have some concerns.

"The hardest part is policing it especially when people have had a couple of drinks," said Eddie Higgins, owner of The Trinity Bar and Restaurant.

Mayor Justin Elicker tells NBC Connecticut the city is focused on educating the public about the need for masks indoors and in public spaces when social distancing is not possible.

"There is overwhelming evidence that wearing a mask not only keeps yourself safe but keeps others safe of course the number one thing is for people to get vaccinated," said Mayor Elicker.

Mayor Elicker also tells NBC Connecticut that businesses can expect to be reminded of the consequences of failing to comply with the mask mandate.

"The health department will pay a visit to folks, give a warning, and if the problem continues to happen, we may end up implementing a fine," said Mayor Elicker.

Katlyn Baker was dining at J Restaurant and Bar and said that she understands why the mask mandate is returning.

"Initially, I was kind of disappointed to think that we were going to have to go back to masks," said Baker. "I think that if it's ultimately going to keep our population safe, then that's what we need to do."

Hartford leaders announced that there are exceptions with the mask mandate, including for those with certain medical conditions.

Where Face Masks Are Required in New Haven

Masks will be required indoors at all establishments, such as:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants, when you’re not eating
  • Retail establishments
  • Theaters
  • Office buildings

For a full list of where you need to wear masks, click here.

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