Gov. Ned Lamont has announced he's lifting all COVID restrictions next month, with the exception of wearing masks indoors; CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports.
ANDREA GRYMES: A mix of opinions about this big news here in Connecticut, where the COVID positivity rate is less than 3%. Governor Lamont says he's going to watch the situation like a hawk. But he believes that May is the right time to fully open the state back up.
On a beautiful spring day in Stamford, restaurant owner Giovanni Gentile has even more reason to smile. He's just weeks away from nearly all COVID restrictions ending in Connecticut.
GIOVANNI GENTILE: Very good. Excellent. Everybody customers are happy to go back to normal. I think we ready to go back to normal.
ANDREA GRYMES: Governor Ned Lamont announced he's lifting all remaining COVID restrictions by May 19th except for wearing masks inside unless you're vaccinated.
- These are all ways that we have earned the right to get back to our new normal.
ANDREA GRYMES: The governor says on May 1st, the business curfew will move back to 12:00 AM and outdoor restrictions will be lifted. Customers can buy alcohol without buying food and there will also be no table size limit. Assuming all goes well Lamont says, on May 19, all remaining restrictions for all businesses and venues will end. There will be no more capacity, limits indoors, or outdoors, and no mask requirement outside. While many Connecticut residents welcome the news--
- I think it's long overdue.
REX FRANCIS: Why shut the whole place down? It doesn't make no sense.
ANDREA GRYMES: Others are concerned it's too much too soon.
ELIZABETH BRYANT: You have to wear that mask.
PAVAN KUMAR: You might want to wait for Herd immunity before removing restrictions, I think.
ANDREA GRYMES: Dr. Howie Forman professor, of Public Health at Yale University says he's cautiously optimistic about the governor's decision, noting nearly half of Connecticut adults already have at least one dose of the vaccine.
HOWIE FORMAN: I think we have to show those people that there is a benefit to being vaccinated and that's having a more open society. I probably would have waited a few more weeks but that doesn't mean he's not right. It just means that I'm more risk averse.
ANDREA GRYMES: Dr. Forman says in terms of mask mandates, relaxing them outside is a good place to start because risk outside is low. Of course, this ease in all restrictions is subject to low COVID rates and an increase in vaccinations. In Stamford, Connecticut, Andrea Grymes, CBS 2 News.