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Lamont’s Big Reopening Move Drops Capacity Limits for Restaurants, Retail, Offices

March 04, 2021

The seasons are about to change, and so are the reopening restrictions in Connecticut, as Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that he will soon lift capacity restrictions on restaurants, retail locations, gyms, offices and houses of worship.

Lamont announced the changes, outlined below, as the state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate remained below 3 percent.

“We’re decreasing transmission, we’re definitely decreasing in mortality and we’re putting a significant impact on this virus,” says Keith Grant, Hartford HealthCare’s Senior System Director of Infection Prevention. “And that’s very, very good news.”

Effective March 19

All capacity limits will be eliminated for the following businesses, though face coverings, social distancing, and other cleaning and disinfecting protocols will remain:

  • Restaurants (eight-person table capacity and 11 p.m. required closing time for dining rooms continues).
  • Retail.
  • Libraries.
  • Personal services.
  • Indoor recreation (excludes theaters, which will continue to have a 50 percent capacity).
  • Gyms/fitness centers.
  • Museums, aquariums, and zoos.
  • Offices.
  • Houses of worship.

Gathering-size revisions:

  • Social and recreational gatherings at private residence: 25 people indoors/100 outdoors.
  • Social and recreational gatherings at commercial venues: 100 indoors/200 outdoors.

All sports will be allowed to practice and compete. All sports tournaments will be allowed, subject to Department of Public Health guidance.

Connecticut’s travel advisory will be modified from a requirement to recommended guidance.

Effective March 29

Capacity limits on early childhood classes will increase from 16 to 20.

Effective April 2

  • Outdoor amusement parks can open.
  • Outdoor event venues can increase to a 50 percent capacity, capped at 10,000 people.
  • Indoor stadiums can open at 10 percent capacity.
  • Summer camps and summer festivals are advised to begin the planning stages to open for the upcoming season.

Protocols remaining in effect until further notice:

  • Face coverings and masks continue to be required.
  • Bars that only serve beverages continue to remain closed.
  • 11 p.m. closing time remains in place for events at venues, restaurants and entertainment.
  • Indoor theaters continue to have a 50 percent capacity.
  • Large event venues (such as stadiums) to open in April.