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Gov. Lamont says reopening of CT bars to ‘take a pause’

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Will bars reopen in Phase 3? Governor Ned Lamont said bars would have “to take a pause right now.” This, as state leaders urge people to keep coronavirus in mind as they celebrate this holiday weekend. 

Lamont said he is rethinking reopening bars in July after seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in states where bars reopened earlier and then had to close.

RELATED: Alcohol consumption suspended at all Florida bars as coronavirus cases spike

“We generally give people at least two weeks to plan accordingly, so that will be about a week,” Lamont said. “I’m seeing around the country Texas Florida and Southern California all closing down bars, and I’m learning from that.”

He would like to keep restaurants at 50% indoor capacity and suggests that people utilize outdoor seating whenever possible.

During his daily briefing Thursday, Governor Lamont said, “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I think the bars are going to have to take a pause right now…I’m just looking around at the rest of the country.”

The Governor’s spokesperson Max Reiss said bars reopening will not happen in the state anytime soon.

RELATED: Closing bars to stop coronavirus spread is backed by science

Connecticut has reduced its Coronavirus infection rate to below one percent. But that is far from the case across the nation right now. Sixteen states have rates higher than ten percent and concern that crowded bars are one place where the virus is spreading. Now, Governor Ned Lamont is pressing pause on reopening bars later this month. 

Many bar owners have been vocal since the start of the pandemic, saying they’re worried they’ll have to close down because they won’t be able to recoup lost sales.

“We’d have about 18 to 20 stools here at the bar, so you lose all that,” said Gary Hobert, owner of Friar Tuck’s in Mystic.

He also owns a bar called the Water Street Tavern. He told News 8 he’s thinking about opening it as a sandwich shop, for now, to recoup some of his losses until the bar business can come back for good.

“Yeah, I want to open up, but then I also don’t want to restart either,” said Hobert.

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