The governor plans to start the next phase of reopening the state a few days early after closing non-essential businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of starting Phase 2 on June 20, Gov. Ned Lamont said Phase 2 will start on June 17 as long as COVID hospitalizations and infection rates remain low.
Among the businesses that the governor has said will be able to open in Phase 2 are gyms, nail salons and movie theaters.
“To avoid having Phase 2 of Connecticut's reopening efforts take effect during a busy Father's Day weekend, we're going to move it up a few days earlier to June 17,” the governor Tweeted.
Businesses that were deemed "non-essential" closed down in March to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On May 20, Phase One started, which allowed some businesses to reopen.
Tory Brogan, co-owner of Hartford Sweat, is excited for reopening.
"Even if it’s reduced capacity, being able to be there, seeing people, face to face. Friends, familiar faces, is gonna be phenomenal."
Restaurant owners also expressed excitement about being able to start getting customers back inside.
"It’s been such a difficult time for everybody and for us. Doing the takeout has been good but not nearly where we need to be so, getting a few people inside, and I know that we can do it safely and space them just as good inside as we can outside. So I’m delighted that we’re going to go a few days early so I think it’s a good step for us in the right direction," Restaurant Bricco owner Billy Grant said.
What's Opening in Phase 2:
- Accommodation (no bar areas)
- Gyms, fitness & sports clubs
- All personal services (nail salons, tattoo parlors)
- Outdoor arts, entertainment, and events (up to 50 people)
- Outdoor amusement parks
- Movie theaters
- Bowling alleys
- Social clubs, pools
- All museums, zoos, aquariums
- Restaurants (indoor dining, no bar)
What's Planned for Phase 3:
Phase 3, according to the governor, would come at a later date in the summer, potentially in late July. The businesses to open in Phase 3 include:
- Indoor event spaces & venues
- Indoor amusement parks & arcades
- Outdoor events (up to 100 people)
Connecticut continued to see a drop in coronavirus-related hospitalizations on Friday. The net number of hospitalizations decreased by 23. It's a metric that Gov. Lamont has pointed to as key to making decisions about reopening the state.
There were 221 new COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to 43,460. Connecticut saw another 31 fatalities from the virus. The death toll now stands at 4,038.