Connecticut is targeting Oct. 8 for the delayed third phase reopening of the state's economy.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced Sept. 24 the state will expand indoor capacity from 50% to 75% for restaurants, personal services, hair salons, barber shops, and libraries.
Attendance at outdoor venues such as amphitheaters, race tracks and the like, goes from 25 to 50% with mask and social distancing requirements.
Indoor performing arts venues can open Oct. 8 at 50% capacity, also with mask and social distancing requirements.
Private outdoor gatherings will increase from 100 to a maximum of 150 people.
And houses of worship can increase indoor capacity from 25% or a maximum of 100 people to 50% or a maximum of 200.
Bars, Nightclubs Remain Closed
Bars and nightclubs remain closed, as they have since March, when Gov. Ned Lamont first ordered nonessential businesses closed.
Lamont said the actions of Connecticut residents helped mitigate the virus, enabling the state to move to the third phase, which is contingent on coronavirus infection rates remaining low.
“By taking the sector rules seriously, wearing masks, physically distancing, and washing your hands regularly, I believe that we can continue to keep these rates low while also easing some of the restrictions that were enacted earlier this year,” Lamont said.
“I applaud the residents of our state for what they’ve been doing, and urge them to keep it up.”
'Little More Risk'
When the state initially closed nonessential businesses in March, the executive order was originally intended to last one month.
But as the virus spread, the second phase of reopening was delayed until June.
Still, Connecticut has fared better than many other states.
“We’ve earned the right to take a little more risk, I’ve got to admit it, when it comes to restaurants and some of these events and some of these gatherings,” Lamont said.
“But I think it’s important that we keep this progress going as long as we do it cautiously.”
David Lehman, the commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said the move means that about 99% of Connecticut’s economy will be open.