State Authorizes Fines for COVID-19 Violations
Violations of the state’s emergency rules mandating face masks and limiting public gatherings are now liable to fines ranging from $100 to $500.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced the penalties Sept. 14, including a $100 fine for not wearing a mask, $500 for organizing an event that exceeds size limits, and $250 for attending such an event.
Connecticut requires masks or cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth when in public and six-foot distancing is unavoidable, whether indoors or outdoors.
Anyone who refuses to wear a mask or face covering because of a medical condition must produce documentation from a licensed medical provider.
The state allows gatherings capped at 100 people outdoors and 25 indoors, with larger outdoor events of up to 500 people permitted if there is 15 feet of space between small groups of people.
Lamont offered this advice on being in large crowds: “If you have to count, get out.”
The fines can be imposed by law enforcement, designees of a municipality’s chief elected official, and local public health officials.
Lamont issued an executive order Sept. 15 authorizing the fines, with employers liable for employee non-compliance.
“A business entity, rather than the employee, is liable for a fine of the same amount [$100] for any employee’s failure to wear a required mask or cloth-face covering while at work,” the order reads.
The governor also announced an easing in the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for travelers from states with a 10% of higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.
Beginning Sept. 18, travelers from hot spot states can skip quarantine if they have a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of arriving in Connecticut.
Travelers who refuse to self-quarantine face a $1,000 fine.
Lamont said municipal leaders requested the penalties for mask and public gatherings violations as an alternative to charging people with a misdemeanor for violating virus-related orders.
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