Restaurants, gyms going the extra mile to ensure COVID safety for full capacity openings on Friday

Connecticut

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The state of Connecticut is reopening at full capacity for restaurants, gyms and more Friday, but there are still restrictions.

It has been a difficult go over the last year, but with no capacity restrictions returning, people are excited. But when you come to the gym, you might not notice a lot of change, that’s because you still have to do the social distancing and wear the mask. Here at the gym, owners say it’s more of a mental thing.

“I think symbolically, tomorrow means a lot; I think it is a sign that our health officials and public leaders understand what we have known for a while, gyms are not COVID hotspots,” Mike Shapiro, Planet Fitness.

At Planet Fitness, they are getting ready to welcome back more people Friday as the governor has lifted capacity restrictions. They say their cleaning protocols are only getting better every day.

“The walk-throughs we have to do the mask checks, all of the sanitation stations. Every 20 minutes we walk around the gym checking for masks and make sure the stations are full.”

Madison Lonus has trained right through the pandemic, as she enters the Navy at the end of the month. She appreciates the extra cleaning.

“When you were touching the weights and stuff you don’t wanna touch your face, get it in your mouth or get it in your nose,” Madison Lonas of East Hartford.

Along with the extraordinary protocols they are taking at gyms to keep you safe, restaurants are doing the same thing.

Workers have become good at it as they’ve been doing it for the last year, putting up the non-porous barriers the cleanings and the sanitation and social distance.

“Rather than go to 75 or 85 percent, which is what some other states are doing, which is very difficult to enforce, and The Main Pub and other great restaurants have earned the right to get up to 100% capacity,” Governor Ned Lamont said during a press conference at the Manchester restaurant.

They say it’s working and now that they can go 100% capacity. Things are not changing a lot in the restaurants, just the mindsets.

“We actually put out our own stimulus gift card that really encourages people to come out so if they bought $100 gift card they would get an extra $50 on top of it,” Attilio Marini, Owner, Cast Iron Chef New Haven.

The gyms are also getting incredibly creative with keeping you safe. At Planet Fitness, they have an app you can go on and look in real-time at how crowded the gym is at that particular time.

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