Connecticut residents were being urged Thursday to limit any nonessential trips between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, a move that comes as the state starts rolling back portions of the third phase of reopening.
The Department of Public Health issued the statewide advisory, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. It applies to all residents except essential workers who need to leave home to get to their jobs during that time period and people who need to leave home for an emergency to seek medical care, purchase medical supplies, food or groceries.
Also at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, the state begins Phase 2.1, which limits restaurant capacity to 50% instead of 75%, with no more than eight people at a table; recommends indoor gatherings, including Thanksgiving meals, to be limited to 10 people; and limits religious venues to a maximum of 100 people, or 50% capacity, among other measures.
Gov. Ned Lamont had originally said restaurants and certain attractions such as movie theaters would have to close by 9:30 p.m., with an exception for takeout and delivery of meals. But he said Thursday that restaurants will be allowed to stay open until 10 p.m.
The Democrat said he understands that people will be frustrated by the changes, including the limits on private gatherings as the holiday season begins.
“Look, it’s it’s a tough pill to swallow. I get it. We’ve talked about that before,” he said. “But do it now. Do it this Thanksgiving. Put up with this a little bit longer. We’re going to be much better off for the long term.”
As of Thursday, 68 cities and towns in Connecticut were in the red zone alert level, the highest of the state’s four alert levels.