(WTNH) – As COVID rates rise, could new restrictions return?

With so many people vaccinated it’s unlikely we’ll see the kind of shut down that happened last year, but local businesses are watching closely.

After a tough year and a half, restaurants are just now getting back on their feet. Many of them are still dealing with issues like labor shortages and now with news ticking up in counties across the state, businesses are bracing for whatever could come next.

“It’s been tough, it’s been rough, it’s been a bit of a blur,” said Eamonn Ryan, The Playwright Irish Pub.

It’s been quite a yar for the Playwright in Hamden. The popular restaurant and bar forced to do a 180 from its usual buzzy trivia nights and live music when the pandemic hit. They are only now getting back on its feet.

“It’s getting better, definitely better than where we were last year. Slow process, still not back to where we were. I don’t know if we will get back to pre-COVID, where we were beforehand,” Ryan said.

“Until everyone gets vaccinated, I think COVID is going to stay with us for a long time. You have to learn to live with it,” said Walter Vera, Pacifico General Manager.

At Pacifico on College Street in New Haven, General Manager Walter Vera took down the plexiglass dividers when capacity and curfew restrictions were lifted two months ago.

“Right now, we’re not using it, but if you got a surge again, probably will have to put it back,” Vera said.

COVID rates dropped and vaccinations went up just in time, but now that is all on the line.

New Haven County is the latest county in Connecticut to see COVID community spready reach the CDC’s threshold to suggest masks indoors for everyone regardless of vaccination status.

RELATED: CDC classifies three Connecticut counties as areas with substantial COVID-19 community transmission

The state so far is still mulling over whether or not to bring back to kind of mandates we saw for most of the pandemic.

Governor Ned Lamont says he could be looking at a county-by-county approach.

Restaurants and other businesses are watching closely, unlike a year ago, they have an idea of what may come next.

“It’s just like last year. They made rules and regulations and it changes almost daily,” Ryan said. “If we go back to masks, we have to do what we have to do in order to keep everyone safe. Patrons, staff, everyone.

Lamont hasn’t laid out any concrete plans for new restrictions. It appears everything is still on the table.