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If the bill is passed, Connecticut would become only the second state to have such legislation.
The #CTDrinksOnUs campaign features participating Connecticut restaurants offering a complimentary drink to vaccinated patrons who order food.
According to the latest data, about 98,000 employees are back to working in Connecticut's hospitality sector – something that usually employs around 150,000.
“We’re going to be outside on May 1, and outside gives us some confidence a little like last year," Gov. Ned Lamont said.
Employers currently are solely responsible for repaying the $700 million that the state borrowed from the federal government to pay pandemic-related unemployment compensation benefits. With interest, they said, that sum could rise to $1 billion.
The bill allows cities and towns to loosen zoning rules and other regulations to help restaurants through March 31, 2022.
“We started about a year and a half ago,” Demetrius Glover, owner of wellness and community-building event company SolHaus in Stamford, said, “so with Covid, doing meditation and live entertainment at company events became difficult.”
“These relaxed rules could be the start of a new Connecticut tradition that increases activity in our towns,” Gov. Ned Lamont remarked.
"It’s critical we save as many local restaurants as possible so they can be part of Connecticut’s post-Covid economic recovery,” said CRA Executive Director Scott Dolch.
"Connecticut has earned it," the governor said. "It feels pretty good that we're able to do this."
That expansion would involve the increase of indoor private events from 25 to 100 people (with a maximum capacity of 50%) and outdoor events from 50 to 200 people.
"This devastation has caused significant hardship on our employees, fellow vendors, and all of the supporting ancillary businesses, which is approximately 32,000 jobs per month.”
As of last night, Connecticut’s daily positivity rate stood at 3.86% -- the first time since November that that number was below 4%.
Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch said the move will help "hundreds and hundreds" of restaurants to remain open through the winter months.
More than 600 Connecticut restaurants, caterers and event venues have closed since the pandemic began.
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