Hundreds of people weren't expecting a party when they came to the bar, but the governor's arrival was met with courteous, albeit lukewarm, applause. The governor, a Democratic candidate recently announced for re-election next year, was pleased with the reception and praised the leadership of the industry's trade association during the pandemic. He was even honored with an award as the industry's “partner of the year”. The governor has been supportive of a higher minimum wage and a new paid family and medical leave program, which has been welcomed by some members of the industry.
Themis Klarides, the former Republican leader of the House of Representatives and declared candidate for governor, was also present at Monday's dinner. As Connecticut continues to reopen, residents are wondering when they'll be able to enjoy a drink at a bar. Beginning March 19, restaurants will be allowed to go from 50% capacity to 100% capacity, with social distancing and mask requirements still in place. By next Wednesday, when businesses in the second phase reopen, approximately 95% of Connecticut's economy will have reopened.
However, drink-only bars will not be able to open at all during this new reopening phase. The state is struggling to meet its contact tracing and testing goals before bars can be considered safe to open. As of now, there are no particular criteria for determining when Connecticut bars could be reopened. In the meantime, Connecticut residents can still enjoy outdoor dining and drinks at restaurants and vineyards.
Summer is just around the corner and it's time to start planning trips to the beach and barbecues with friends. With 95% of Connecticut's economy reopening soon, there are plenty of activities to look forward to.