Second St. Patrick's Day for CT During Pandemic Arrives

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This is the second St. Patrick’s Day that will be different for Connecticut restaurant owners amid the ongoing pandemic.

The Corner Pug in West Hartford was closed for in-person dining last St. Patrick’s Day when the state mandated that restaurants close amid the COVID-19 pandemic and had an 80 percent drop in business that day because they could only offer take-out.

In the last year, in-person dining has returned  and restaurants have made numerous changes to comply with COVID guidelines.

On Friday, the governor will ease some restirctions put in place because of the pandemic and capacity limits will be lifted.

The tables still required to be six-feet apart and many restaurants are still serving fewer customers than they once did.

“It's going to take years for a full recovery. There's no question about it,” Scott Dolch, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, said.

Many restaurant owners say they’re hoping business steadily improves as more people get vaccinated and feel comfortable eating out.

Changes Coming on Friday

All capacity limits will be eliminated for the following businesses, while face coverings, social distancing, and other cleaning and disinfecting protocols will continue to be required:

  • Restaurants
    • Maximum of eight people per table
    • 11 p.m. required closing time for dining rooms
  • Retail
  • Libraries
  • Personal services
  • Indoor recreation
    • Excludes theaters, which will continue to have a 50% capacity
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Museums, aquariums and zoos
  • Offices
  • Houses of worship
  • Gathering sizes will be revised to the following amounts:
    • Social and recreational gatherings at private residence
      • 25 people indoors
      • 100 people outdoors
    • Social and recreational gatherings at commercial venues
      • 100 people indoors
      • 200 people outdoors
  • All sports will be allowed to practice and compete, and all sports tournaments will be allowed, subject to Department of Public Health guidance
  • Connecticut’s travel advisory will be modified from a requirement to recommended guidance.

Lifting the CT Travel Advisory Mandate

The governor will also be lifting the state's travel advisory mandate, making it a recommendation rather than a requirement into a recommendation.

Passengers will no longer be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 10 days after travel.

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