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Restaurant owners hoping for state guidance on indoor dining options as colder temps approach

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — With the colder temperatures approaching, outdoor seating options at restaurants will come to a halt. Local owners tell News 8 they’re hoping for new guidance on indoor dining from state officials.

RELATED: Restaurants hope to see changes to survive without outdoor dining

Local restaurants across the state are staying afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic with outdoor seating options. But that dining may look a lot different as we inch toward fall-like temperatures.

Brian Virtue, co-owner of Christopher Martins restaurant told News 8, “The outdoor seating has saved us, there’s no doubt about it. We were doing take-out, but it wasn’t sustainable so the outdoor has been a lifeline and I’m afraid of the cold weather…Anything would help. The little less distancing would help fit another table or two in. The sooner the better.”

RELATED: Restaurant owners worry what unofficial end of summer means for outdoor dining

State leaders are hoping to offer guidance on the future of indoor dining within the next few weeks.

Gov. Ned Lamont said, “I’m going to sit down with my public health team and they’re going to say Oct. 12 is too far ahead to predict, and I’m going to say ‘look, if we can keep our metric at – say – below 2%, I want to be able to tell people this is what you can plan on in terms of capacity and occupancy.'”

The Connecticut Restaurant Association tells News 8 a recent meeting was held with the governor on the issue. They hope updated state guidance comes soon to help keep the doors open for business across the state despite the changing seasons.

RELATED: New Haven kicks off ‘Restaurant Week’ early to accommodate for outdoor dining, adds to-go option

Scott Dolch of the CT Restaurant Association said, “We’re trying to work with the governor to talk about inside dining and how we increase capacity…It doesn’t look like there will be a vaccine anytime soon and we have to continue to move forward as a business community.”

The governor has not released a hard date on Phase Three of re-opening the state – which would include bars and theaters/venues – and it’s unclear when new guidance for indoor dining will be released with the state currently experiencing an uptick in cases.

But any new guidance will be based on the state numbers.

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