No more masks for vaccinated in Connecticut, all capacity restrictions lifted

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- Connecticut returned to 100% capacity inside restaurants two months ago, though tables still had to be kept 6 feet apart, but that all changes Wednesday.

The state has now ended all COVID restrictions on businesses, and restaurants are back to full capacity with curfews lifted.

Masks are also no longer required both outdoors and indoors for the fully vaccinated, though businesses can still require masks if they want.

"Indoor masking will still be required for the unvaccinated for a little bit longer," Governor Ned Lamont said. "I think that's the right thing to do. A lot of our stores, restaurants, said it gives their customers comfort, makes it a little easier for us to be clear. Unvaccinated people indoors still must wear the masks."

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A hardware store in Greenwich still has a sign up requiring facemasks, but management admits it's now more of a suggestion than a hard and fast rule.

"We'll probably keep the sign there, probably take it down eventually," manager Andrew Wolf said. "But we're not going to be checking people."

Densely populated states have other issues, but for those like Connecticut, with its high vaccination rate and relatively few urban areas, lifting mask requirements for fully vaccinated is an easier decision.

Still, many have reservations.

"I'm a person of facts and science, and I don't trust everybody else as much as I would like to," Greenwich resident Annabelle Berizzi said. "So I wear my mask for you, for you, for you, for you, and for everybody else."

At the Plaza Restaurant, the staff is still wearing masks -- and customers will be on the honor system.

"If somebody comes without a mask and they're holding their vaccine card, we're not going to bust your chops," owner Theo Kourdis said. "Overall, we're taking the whole mask thing a little bit more relaxed as more and more people are getting vaccinated."

Many who are vaccinated say they still plan to wear masks.

"I definitely am going to continue to wear my mask, because we don't know who is and who isn't outside," Greenwich resident Lisa Smith said. "And I have an aunt who has an illness at home, so I'm being really cautious."

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Governor Ned Lamont said students will continue to mask, however.

"Let's wear the masks to school a little bit longer," he said. "Let's go through the end of this school year. Most of those kids aren't vaccinated. Most of them aren't eve authorized to get vaccinated. I know that makes the teachers feel a lot more comfortable as well."

Connecticut's coronavirus positivity rate has been consistently low, and it has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, with 49% of residents fully vaccinated and 59% having received at least one dose.

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