Some of the restrictions that have been in place in Connecticut for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic have now been eased or lifted starting today.
Gov. Ned Lamont lifted all outdoor restrictions as of May 1, including for bars that have been closed since the early days of the pandemic.
"It’s going to make for a great summer," said Daniel Rek, Assistant Manager of Viron Rondo Osteria. "It’s gonna help boost our economy. People have been cooped up for a year so they’re going to be more apt to go out and enjoy themselves."
Many people said they are looking forward to getting outside and enjoying a bit of normalcy.
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"We are coming out of hibernation," Steven Bonnell said. "I mean we’ve been home for so long, we’re really excited to kind of be able to get back to some kind of normalcy."
All restrictions for Connecticut businesses will end on May 19.
Here is what you need to know about the changes:
Face Mask Requirement in CT
Indoor masking will continue, but it's not clear whether it will be a “requirement” or “recommendation” by May 19.
Lamont said he is in talks with other officials and will make that announcement before the complete rollback for Connecticut businesses.
CT COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted Today
- Bars that do not serve food can open for service on an outdoor-only basis. The establishments will still be prohibited from serving only alcohol indoors.
- The eight-person per table limit will be lifted for outdoors only. This limit will remain in effect for indoor service.
- The curfew for restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation venues, and theaters will be moved back an hour to midnight.
CT COVID-19 Restriction Changes on May 19
- All remaining business restrictions will be lifted, contingent upon low rates of infections and increasing vaccination rates.
- These restrictions will include size limits and social distancing rules for businesses such as large event venues, bars and nightclubs.
What Comes Next
The Connecticut Department of Public Health will issue recommendations for indoor and other large outdoor events, such as concerts, as well as clarify where masking will continue after May 19, according to the governor.