Friday marked the first day of Connecticut's COVID-19 reopening rollback, phase 2.1. Restaurants and entertainment businesses are adhering to stricter capacity limitations and are closing earlier while the public is also being asked to do their part.
People are asked to cooperate with a recommended curfew. From 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Governor Ned Lamont is urging people to stay off the streets.
With the COVID-19 infection rate rising of late, the Department of Public Health and the governor are urging people to restrict non-essential trips outside the home. People are also being asked to consider smaller Thanksgiving gatherings, limiting them to 10 or fewer people.
Middletown resident Eric Hoggard said his 58-year old mother just recently died from the virus. He supports the governor’s recommendations.
“I’m pretty sure it can inconvenience some people but I’m alright with it,” said Hoggard. “(The virus) is real. It’s definitely taking a toll on a lot of people.”
For business owners, there is a vested interest in seeing the spread slow, and numbers decline. Tschudin Chocolates in Middletown has already been forced to limit customer capacity to one family at a time. The owner knows continued spread of COVID-19 could lead to further restrictions.
“If we see the numbers continuing to rise, we may have to go back to curbside service exclusively,” said Roberto Tschudinlucheme.
The increased infection rate has also forced restaurants to roll back to Phase 2 restrictions, called Phase 2.1. Beginning Friday, the last in-person service is at 9:30 p.m. and dining rooms must be closed by 10 p.m.; although takeout and delivery can continue.
Fiore II Restaurant in Middletown said it was doing well in Phase 3, but now must adjust.
“We just hope we stay open,” said restaurant worker, Sara Golemi. “But we’re doing pretty well. We’re lucky; one of a few.”