All COVID business restrictions lifted in CT; mask mandates eased for fully vaccinated people


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As of Wednesday, May 19, the State of Connecticut has lifted all remaining business restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, people who are completely vaccinated against COVID do not need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

Those who are unvaccinated will still need to continue wearing masks indoors.

On Tuesday, Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order to align Connecticut’s mask and face-covering policy with the new CDC guidelines.

Masks will still be required for everyone in certain settings including:

  • Healthcare facilities
  • Facilities housing vulnerable populations
  • Public and private transit
  • Correctional facilities
  • Schools
  • Childcare

Big box retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS, Trader Joe’s, and Starbucks all say fully vaccinated people can go maskless.

RELATED: LIST: Target joins Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Publix to drop mask requirements

For now, Stew Leonard’s will keep its mask-on policy. The same goes for students and faculty at Quinnipiac University.

At Dunkin’ Donuts Park, you will no longer be required to wear a mask, and capacity is back to 100%.

So, how will businesses know if you’re fully vaccinated? It will all be based on the honor system. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you have faith in your neighbor.

All of this comes at the same time state officials said more than 2 million people in CT have had at least their first shot. That includes about 90% of people 65 and older, the most vulnerable group at the onset of the pandemic.

“There are things we still need to be cautious and cognitive of,” said Keith Grant, Senior System Director of Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare.

RELATED: 12-15-year-olds can now receive Pfizer COVID vaccine ahead of CT reopening May 19

This new guidance isn’t one-size-fits-all. Health experts and doctors tell News 8 you might feel more comfortable easing into it. Keith Grant, Senior System Director for Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare, said there are situations where it will be best to mask up and return to those safety measures we’ve grown accustomed to.

“If you have individuals around you that are high risk, with chronic lung disease or advanced age, be wary of that, be cautious, and be responsible,” explained Grant.

Another perk for getting the COVID vaccine: participating Connecticut restaurants will give you a free drink with proof of full vaccination. It’s all part of the CT Drinks on Us campaign, which goes from now until May 31.

Click here to see the latest details on reopening Connecticut as we continue to recover from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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