Many COVID Restrictions Lifted In Connecticut

Connecticut is taking a major step forward on the road to reopening. Many coronavirus restrictions were lifted Friday; CBS2's Nick Caloway reports.

Video Transcript

- Connecticut is taking a major step forward on the road to reopening.

Many coronavirus restrictions have been lifted today. CBS 2's Nick Caloway is live in Stamford with the latest there. Nick.

NICK CALOWAY: Yeah, Dick and Natalie, restaurants here in Connecticut can go back to 100% capacity. But it's not going back to that pre-pandemic normal, at least not yet.

For the first time in more than a year, many Connecticut restaurants are back to max capacity, a major milestone for businesses that were ravaged by the pandemic. Dennis Cloke is general manager of Fish Restaurant and Bar in Stamford.

DENNIS CLOKE: It's amazing. It's a great step forward. We still have to follow the six feet rule, but this is a big step forward.

NICK CALOWAY: Starting Friday, all capacity limits are lifted for restaurants, retail, gyms, offices, personal services, museums, and houses of worship. But masks and spacing requirements are still in place.

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Vito Derario owns Zaza Italian Gastrobar.

VITO DERARIO: We still have to keep distance in between our customers. So I don't believe the 100% is really 100%.

NICK CALOWAY: Derario said the loosening of restrictions is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't mean customers will actually come back.

VITO DERARIO: It's the people themselves right now. They are damaged. This is going to stay on our brain for a long time.

NICK CALOWAY: Around the corner at Sweeney Todd's Hair Design, owner Bernadette Carrizzo said for now, she plans to stay well below capacity.

BERNADETTE CARRIZZO: Our first priority is to make sure that our clients still feel safe and comfortable coming in. And same thing for our staff.

NICK CALOWAY: The changes in Connecticut also mean sports teams can practice and compete in tournaments with safety protocols in place. Movie theaters and performing arts venues are capped at 50% capacity. And restaurants still face an 11 o'clock curfew and an eight-person limit per table.

And a lot of restaurant owners I talked to say they look forward to warmer weather, when they can put more tables outside, because so many people are still uncomfortable eating indoors. Reporting live in Stamford, Connecticut, Nick Caloway, CBS 2 News.

- All right, thank you, Nick.