@GovNedLamont (Twitter)

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has announced all restrictions for Connecticut businesses will be phased out by May 19.

During his Monday news conference, the governor said all outdoor restrictions will be lifted starting May 1.  In the coming weeks, restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol without also selling food, and there no longer will be a seating limit at tables.

Governor Lamont also mentioned the curfew for businesses currently at 11PM will be pushed back to 12 Midnight starting May 1.  All other business restrictions will be phased out starting May 19, including social distancing rules for businesses such as large event venues, bars and night clubs.

The governor’s plan will allow business owners and managers to decide what is safe for each individual establishment, meaning restaurants may open at full capacity if they chose to starting on May 19.

The governor says indoor mask-wearing will continue, however it is unknown yet if it will be a “recommendation” or a “requirement.”   Expect a new announcement on that in the next few weeks.

“Probably we are going to require indoor masking a little bit longer, unless you are vaccinated, in a crowded public place.”

The phase-out of restrictions is subject to a low amount of new coronavirus cases and continued improvements in vaccination rates, which includes the Connecticut state positivity rate and the number of hospitalizations.

According to Monday’s statistics, over 1.1 million Connecticut residents are now fully vaccinated, and 1.7 million people have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.