As Connecticut’s COVID-19 numbers increase, Gov. Ned Lamont and his team are requiring businesses to roll back to Phase 2.1 of reopening effective Friday Nov. 6.
The new restrictions require event venues to cap indoor gatherings at 25 people and 50 people outside.
"I think everybody is just a little frustrated and angry because it just sort of killed the event industry, which was already hurting and now it's even taking us a step backwards," said Kia Martinson, owner of Engaged Connecticut.
Martinson manages five event properties and is a wedding planner based in West Hartford.
Martinson said this rollback is another blow to small businesses just trying to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of customers are cancelling events or pushing them off to next year.
“We’re following all the state regulations just like we have throughout the year so it’s a definite blow and it’s hard. It instantaneously changed what’s going to be our holiday season of anybody who was even attempting to do a holiday party with just family. They’re gone. They’ve just all been canceling as of the last few days,” said Martinson.
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For those who choose to soldier on, it comes down to prioritizing family members and uninviting some as guests.
“Some couples have already changed their weddings like three or four times, so it’s just a really difficult time to say, 'Who do I cut and who do I not.',” Martinson said.
Also under Phase 2.1, restaurants and entertainment venues are required to close by 9:30 p.m.
Martinson said she hopes this rollback and loss of business will be worth it and lead to a decrease in cases in the state.