Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday the state would be rolling back a number of COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and recreation in the coming weeks.
Lamont cited falling case numbers and increasing vaccinations in his announcement, which said restaurants, retail outlets, libraries, personal services, indoor recreation, gyms, museums, offices, and houses of worship will all have their capacity limits fully lifted beginning March 19. The state will keep its mask mandate in place, and bars that only serve beverages will remain shut down. (RELATED: The CDC Says COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, But That Isn’t The Whole Story)
BREAKING: Effective March 19 … Connecticut is lifting ALL capacity limits on restaurants, retail, libraries, personal services, indoor recreation, gyms, museums, offices & houses of worship #nbc4ny pic.twitter.com/kV1qylyvjI
— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) March 4, 2021
Beginning April 2, outdoor amusement parks will be able to open, as well as indoor stadiums at 10% capacity and outdoor event venues at 50% capacity with a maximum of 10,000 people. Indoor theaters will continue to have a 50% attendance limit, and restaurants and entertainment venues must close by 11 p.m.
Limits on social gatherings have also been softened. Outdoor gatherings may have 100 people at a private residence or 200 at a commercial venue starting March 19, while indoor gatherings have limits of 25 and 100 people, respectively.
Connecticut is the latest state to significantly loosen pandemic lockdown restrictions. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday his state would be fully opening soon, and Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced the same for his state starting Wednesday.
President Joe Biden said the decisions in Texas and Mississippi constituted “Neanderthal thinking,” and top medical adviser to the president Dr. Anthony Fauci urged residents of those states to continue wearing masks despite no longer being subject to a mask mandate.