STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Connecticut There was a big step forward on the road to reopening on Friday.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway said restaurants have been allowed to reopen at 100% capacity, but it has yet to return to normal.
For the first time in more than a year, many Connecticut businesses are back to full capacity – a milestone for businesses ravaged by the pandemic.
“Surprised. It’s a big step. We still have to follow the 6-foot rule, but it’s a big step forward,” said Dennis Cloke, general manager at Fish Restaurant and Bar. Stamford.
Starting Friday, all capacity restrictions for restaurants, retail stores, gyms, offices, personal services, museums and churches have been lifted.
But requirements for masks and spacing are still in place.
“We still have to keep some distance between our customers. So I don’t believe 100% is actually 100%, ”said Vito Derario, owner of Zaza Italian Gastrobar.
Loosening restrictions is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t mean customers will actually return, Derario says.
“It’s the people, right now, that suffer. This will stay in our brains for a long time, ”says Derario.
Around the corner of Sweeney Todd’s Hair Design, owner Bernadette Carrizzo said she now plans to stay under capacity.
“Our top priority is to make sure that our customers still feel safe and comfortable when they arrive. And the same goes for our employees, ”says Carrizzo.
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The changes in Connecticut also mean that sports teams can practice and compete in tournaments with safety procedures in place.
Movie theaters and performing arts venues both exceed 50% of capacity. Restaurants still face a 11 p.m. curfew and a limit of eight people per table.
Restaurant owners said they are looking forward to warmer weather so they can set up another outdoor table again, as many people are still uncomfortable eating inside.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.