Lamont Says Phase 3 of CT’s Reopening to Begin October 8, GOOD News for Restaurants, Salons and More

Nearly three months after the original planned start date, Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday announced details for his plans to move Connecticut into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The plan, which is targeted to take effect on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, will ease some of the restrictions that were put into place on businesses and gatherings while still taking what officials say is a safe approach to limit the spread of the virus.

“The reason why we are able to have a discussion about even entering into Phase 3 is because of Connecticut residents’ collective actions to fight the spread of COVID-19,” Lamont said. “By taking the sector rules seriously, wearing masks, physically distancing, and washing your hands regularly, I believe that we can continue to keep these rates low while also easing some of the restrictions that were enacted earlier this year. I applaud the residents of our state for what they’ve been doing, and urge them to keep it up.”

Business changes in Phase 3 will include:

  • Restaurants, personal services, hair salons, barbershops, and libraries:  Increase from 50% to 75% capacity indoors, subject to COVID-19 safety requirements
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, race tracks, etc.):  Increase from 25% to 50% capacity with masks and social distancing requirements
  • Indoor performing arts venues: Open at 50% capacity with masks and social distancing requirements
  • Bars and nightclubs: Continue to remain closed.

In addition, Phase 3 also includes the following changes to the sizes of gatherings:

Private Gatherings–Social and Recreational

  • At commercial locations/businesses
    • Indoor:  50% capacity, capped at 100 people
    • Outdoor:  Capped at 150 people
  • Private residence
    • Indoor:  No Change, remains at 25 people
    • Outdoor:  Capped at 150 people
  • Graduations
    • Indoor:  50% capacity, capped at 200; with masks and social distancing
    • Outdoor:  50% capacity of 6-foot spacing, no cap; with masks and social distancing
  • Religious
    • Indoor:  50% capacity, capped at 200; with masks and social distancing
    • Outdoor:  50% capacity and 6-foot spacing, no cap; with masks and social distancing

During his daily press briefing, Lamont explained what prompted the shift.

“We knew that with the colleges coming back, schools coming back you might see a little fluctuation, but it’s been pretty small,” Lamont said. “I wanted to hold off a few weeks ago. I wanted to see what the impact of schools and in particular colleges might be. Now it’s almost a month later and we have a pretty good sense of where we’re headed.”

Even with a recent slight rise in case numbers to over 1% positivity rate, the state has remained relatively stable–and numbers are still below almost every other state.