HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced Monday the further easing of some COVID-19-related safety restrictions for businesses in the state.

Starting May 1, restaurant curfew will be moved from 11 p.m. to midnight, outdoor restrictions will be lifted, alcohol can be served without food, and there will be no table size limit.

On May 19, all remaining business restrictions will be lifted, including social-distancing requirements (no mandates), 12 a.m. curfew lifted, and no limits on gathering sizes. Also, movie theater capacity can go up to 100%.

Gov. Lamont said, “I think you see on May 1, there’s going to be a little more outside fun which I appreciate, as long as we’re careful,  and on May 19 we’re back to our new normal.”

Shortly after the announcement was made Monday, Connecticut Restaurant Association applauded the reopening plan.

The organization’s Executive Director Scott Dolch said, in part, “More than a year after this pandemic began, local restaurant owners and employees can finally see light at the end of
the tunnel. Today’s news gives restaurants a plan and a timeline for recovery. It’s possible because of the incredible job Connecticut has done fighting COVID, from the tireless work of local business owners and employees to put safety first, to the nation-leading efforts by Gov. Lamont and his team to get our population vaccinated. To that end, our association will continue urging our members, their employees, and their patrons to get vaccinated — the faster we move on from this pandemic, the faster our businesses and our economy can recover.”

The state and the Department of Public Health will continue to strongly recommend wearing masks indoors.

This comes a few weeks after the governor announced an ease on restrictions at state parks. This is great news for sporting events, like Hartford Yard Goats Baseball at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

While alcohol without food will be allowed when the Yard Goats take the field on May 11 for their home opener, it’ll be 621 days since they last played at the stadium.

For their first seven home games, from May 11 – 18, tickets will be sold in pods of six with social distancing. Starting on May 19, all sections of the park will open for individual ticket buyers, meaning full capacity which is listed as 6,121.

“Our health and safety protocols will be in place where we’re doing touchless ordering. We’ll be doing all the extra cleaning of the touchpoints that people use. Just continuing to make the ballpark a safe place where fans can come out, have a great time, cheer on the Yard Goats and enjoy the day at Dunkin’ Donuts Park,” said Tim Restall, Yard Goats President.

All of the governor’s announcements in terms of rolling back and easing restrictions depends on low incident rates and improvements in vaccination rates.