CONNECTICUT — Gov. Ned Lamont announced coronavirus business restrictions will be fully lifted May 19 in Connecticut.
There will be two more reopening phases. On May 1, business curfews will be moved back to midnight. Outdoor restrictions will also be lifted, so alcohol can be served without food and there will be no table size limit. Outdoor mask mandates will be lifted so long as social distancing can be maintained.
On May 19, all business restrictions will be lifted. Indoor mask mandates will remain in effect, but there may be exceptions for fully vaccinated people, Lamont said. The state Department of Public Health will also issue guidance on large indoor and outdoor events.
“I think these are all the ways that we’ve earned the right to get back to our new normal and I think you see on May 1 it’s going to be a little more outside fun which I appreciate as long as we’re careful,” Lamont said during a news conference.
Individual businesses will still be able to mandate more restrictive rules than what the state mandates, Lamont said.
School mask use rules will stay in effect until at least the end of the school year, Lamont said.
The Connecticut Restaurant Association hailed Lamont’s decision.
“More than a year after this pandemic began, local restaurant owners and employees can finally see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Scott Dolch, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. “Today’s news gives restaurants a plan and a timeline for recovery. It’s possible because of the incredible job Connecticut has done fighting COVID, from the tireless work of local business owners and employees to put safety first, to the nation-leading efforts by Gov. Lamont and his team to get our population vaccinated.”
Lamont said he will have to talk with the state Legislature post-May 20 when his emergency powers expire. Things like mask mandates will have to be taken up by the Legislature.