HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — Businesses saw a number of COVID-19 restrictions disappear on Saturday.
Gov. Ned Lamont promised more restrictions would be eased on May 1.
Now, restaurants can stay open until midnight, as opposed to the 11 p.m. curfew that was in place.
Also, outdoor restrictions were lifted, which meant no more table size limits outside. Plus, people sitting outside don’t have to purchase a meal when ordering a drink.
Bars that don’t serve food can also reopen for outdoor service.
Governor Ned Lamont announced phasing out COVID-19 restrictions for businesses on Monday.
On May 19, the remaining restrictions are expected to be eased, except indoor masking. Residents will still be required to wear a face mask inside establishments.
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance on masks outside, saying those who are fully vaccinated don’t need to wear one outdoors anymore.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued new guidance on outdoor …
Lamont said Connecticut agreed with that plan, and put it immediately in effect.
For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC said they can take masks off at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. The CDC told unvaccinated people that they still need to wear a mask at such gatherings.
By May 19, Lamont also said the Department of Public Health would issue recommendations for safe operation of indoor and large outdoor events.
Business owners said the full reopening couldn’t have come fast enough.
“I think we’re really looking forward to the restrictions being lifted and people feeling more confident about going out and doing business in Connecticut,” said Barbara Karsky, of BJ & Co.
“It just can’t come fast enough. It just can’t come fast enough,” said Marisa Bramato, of Esca Restaurant and Wine Bar.
The timing was also ideal ahead of Mother’s Day.
However, not everyone is ready to see people everywhere.
In some ways, lifting the restrictions may be lifting hesitancy among the unvaccinated.
Marcy White, of Middletown, said she had concerns about adverse reactions, but will now do some research.
“I don’t want to make anyone sick. I want to do whatever I need to do to keep you safe and me safe. I’m going to get the vaccine if that’s what it takes,” White said.
The takeaway, if restrictions are going away, people said they want to be able to enjoy going out and doing things again with confidence that they’re safe.
Business owners said they are willing to meet people where they’re at, whether it’s curbside pick-up or to-go orders.
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