MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a big day across Connecticut, one year into the pandemic. Restaurants, gyms, and other businesses are back to full capacity. But, COVID protocols are still in effect.
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Restaurants across Connecticut back to 100% capacity on the eve of Spring. Governor Ned Lamont giving them the green light, as long as masking and social distancing are in play.
News 8 caught up with diners in the Manchester area regarding the statewide milestone.
Dennis Buden of Manchester, “My wife and I have continued to dine. We follow the protocols.”
Regulars at Center Perk in Downtown Manchester say they’re feeling good about the move, and it marks a milestone in a battle that’s claimed more than 7,800 lives in Connecticut.
John Hill of Manchester said, “As long as everyone does this [wears a mask]. And you do well and take care of yourself. But there are people that don’t believe in the mask and I don’t know – it’s not a political thing.”
COVID protocols are still in effect, leading some to wonder if anything will look different. The CDC rolled back social distancing guidance to three feet in schools, but restaurants still have to aim for six feet apart.
Buden asked, “What does 100% really mean? Especially for a smaller place like this. You still have to maintain the six-foot distance and there are only so many tables you can fit into an establishment.”
Retail shops, churches, libraries, museums and gyms also returned to full capacity Friday. But bars remain closed.
“Movie theaters and performing arts, keeping them at 50% capacity a little bit longer,” Lamont said, “Because they intend to be a bigger crowd and maybe you’re eating and sitting in close proximity to somebody for maybe two hours at a time.”
Wherever you go, you’ll still need your mask.
Hill added, “So you have to do it for a while…It’s the only way to get out of this – I see.”
And restaurants are returning to full capacity one year after the state’s first COVID-19 death. Right now, the positivity rate is at 2.7%, and 33% of adults have had a shot of the vaccine.