Connecticut will relax Covid-19 lockdown measures, keep mask mandates

Connecticut will relax Covid-19 lockdown measures, keep mask mandates

Connecticut’s Democrat governor is quietly relaxing his coronavirus lockdown, just days after Texas and Mississippi were denounced by the White House and the national media for lifting mask mandates and wanting to fully reopen.

Starting March 19, all capacity limits will be lifted on restaurants, retail, libraries, personal services, indoor recreation and gyms, offices and houses of worship, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Thursday.

Restaurants are still required to close by 11 pm and maintain an 8-person table limit, however. Indoor theaters are still required to operate at 50 percent capacity. Drink-only bars will remain shut. Private gatherings have generously been expanded to 25 indoors and 100 outdoors, while those at commercial venues were expanded to 100 inside and 200 outside.

Kindergarten limits will be raised from 16 to 20 by March 29, and outdoor amusement parks will be allowed to reopen in April, Lamont said. The state travel advisory is also being downgraded from required to recommended. 

However, face masks remain mandatory, and all businesses and venues are still under orders to follow social distancing and sanitation protocols.

“Please continue to wear face coverings in public and when around other people outside of your households, maintain social distancing, and keep washing your hands and cleaning surfaces,” Lamont said, so as not to “lose the progress that we’ve made” against the coronavirus.

The New England state has less than four million residents, and is sandwiched between New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Lamont’s relaxation doesn’t go anywhere as far as the measures announced Mississippi and Texas earlier in the week, whose Republican governors lifted mask mandates as well as most restrictions on businesses.

While both governors said the move doesn’t abandon “safe practices” and will mean that most people will continue to wear masks and obey safety rules, Texas and Mississippi have been outright demonized in major media outlets. 

President Joe Biden joined the chorus on Wednesday, describing the governors’ thinking as “Neanderthal” and saying it’s “critical – critical, critical, critical” to “follow the science: Wash your hands, hot water, do it frequently. Wear a mask and stay socially distanced.”

Also on

Biden blasts Texas, Mississippi for lifting Covid-19 restrictions: ‘No time for Neanderthal thinking’

Having promised a 100-day plan to “shut down” the virus upon taking office, Biden admitted in late January there was “nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”

His efforts so far have consisted mainly of a mask mandate on all federal properties and public transportation and hope the US might return to normal “sometime in 2022.”

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