On Thursday, Democratic Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said that his state would soon be rolling back COVID-19 restrictions that were implemented in 2020 to combat the spread of the virus.
This move comes after President Joe Biden criticized Republican governors for doing the same things, calling it “Neanderthal thinking.”
The Hartford Courant reported, “Most of the changes will go into effect on March 19, with several more coming down the line over the following two weeks.”
“The decision comes as President Joe Biden warns states not to move fast on reopening,” the Courant noted. “Lamont said the decision was a result of Connecticut’s dropping COVID-19 metrics.”
The governor’s office issued a statement saying that the restrictions will be lifted while certain safety protocols – like the mask mandate and social distancing rules – will remain in place.
On March 19, capacity limits for restaurants, retail outlets, libraries, personal services, indoor recreation, gyms, museums, zoos, offices, and houses of worship will be lifted.
On March 29, the limit on early childhood classes will increase from 16 to 20.
On April 2, outdoor amusement parks and other outdoor venues can allow 50 percent capacity with 10,000 people being the maximum.
Indoor stadiums will allow 10 percent capacity.
Gov. Lamont said, “While it is encouraging to see the number of cases in our state gradually going down and people getting vaccinated at rates that are among the highest in the nation, we need to continue taking this virus seriously to mitigate its spread as much as possible.”
“Please continue to wear face coverings in public and when around other people outside of your households, maintain social distancing, and keep washing your hands and cleaning surfaces,” he added.
“Connecticut has made tremendous strides to combat this pandemic, and we don’t want to lose the progress that we’ve made,” Lamont cautioned.
Lamont’s announcement comes just one day after Biden mocked GOP governors in Texas and Mississippi of “Neanderthal thinking” for making similar, albeit more complete, reopening moves in their states.
“I think it’s a big mistake,” Biden said in response to the Texas and Mississippi news.
Biden said, “The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the mean time everything’s fine, take off your mask. Forget it.”
The president continued, “It’s still matters. … And it’s critical — critical, critical, critical — that they follow the science. Wash your hands, hot water, do it frequently. Wear a mask and stay socially distanced.”
Biden told the press in the room Wednesday, “And I know you all know that; I wish the heck some of our elected officials knew it.”
Both Gov. Greg Abbott in Texas and Gov. Tate Reeves in Mississippi emphasized to their constituents that they should still follow safe practices, similar to Gov Lamont.
Gov Abbot said, “Today’s announcement does not abandon the safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year.”
“Instead, as a reminder that each person has their own role to play in their own personal safety as well as in the safety of others,” Abbott said. “It’s a reminder that individual’s safety is managed every day as a matter of personal responsibility rather than by government mandate.”
Gov. Reeves said that people in his state should still take precautions and urged Mississippians to “continue to listen to [State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs] and other health advisors for the best possible wisdom regarding how you can personally stem any risk of catching COVID.”
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