Connecticut unveiled a plan to reopen that will allow restaurants to operate at full capacity and ease other coronavirus restrictions later this month.
Ned Lamont, the Democratic governor of Connecticut, announced the decision after the northeastern state saw a sustained decline in cases and hospitalizations following a winter surge, saying officials now have a better understanding of the measures that help keep the number of infections low.
But he left open the possibility that the rules would be tightened again to curb the spread of the virus.
“Was it unanimous? No, ”Lamont said of the decision to lift the restrictions. “[Some said], “Why not wait, why not wait, there are variations that we don’t know exactly, we could wait.” But I think there was a general consensus that we know what works, we know our hospitals have capacity, we know we can turn around and change if we have to.
Several states have relaxed or removed restrictions on business and social activities in recent weeks following a slowdown in new Covid-19 infections and hospital admissions. Meanwhile, more Americans have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, with 54 million people receiving at least one dose on Thursday, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Biden administration has urged governors to proceed slowly with the reopening, citing concerns over new variants of the coronavirus.
The updated Connecticut rules allow restaurants, which are currently limited to 50 percent of their occupancy, to operate without capacity limits starting March 19. Social distancing, the wearing of masks and an 11 p.m. curfew will remain in effect.
Gyms, retail stores, offices and places of worship are among other businesses and gathering places that will grow to 100% capacity.
Additionally, Connecticut will remove penalties from an out-of-state travel advisory and ease restrictions on private gatherings, weddings, and sports.