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Businesses, patrons excited as CT rolls back some restaurant restrictions

As of Saturday, you can get a drink without a meal, and serving hours are extended to midnight.

GLASTONBURY, Conn. — Connecticut is rolling back some COVID-19 restrictions. Restaurants no longer have to limit people to 8 to a table outdoors. You can now visit a bar and get a drink without having to order food, outdoors only. Indoors, you'll still have to order food with alcohol.

The curfew for restaurants, bars, event venues, and more has been changed to midnight. They are small changes that businesses say make a big difference. Especially at places like Rooftop 120 in Glastonbury.

"It's really made for social interaction, it's made for big groups to come together, grab drinks, grab food and just enjoy their time," said Caitlin Keith, assistant general manager.

The pandemic brought some changes that are here to stay. Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield extended its patio with two 40-foot tents and a new AstroTurf area. The space is ideal for those who may not be completely comfortable going out just yet.

"We've got plenty of outdoor space so if people feel more comfortable being outdoors we'll have options for the people that want to go inside, not a problem," said Curt Cameron, president of Thomas Hooker Brewery.

While the latest changes are welcome, many places are really looking forward to later this month when most restrictions for businesses will end.

"We do so much with private events the 19th is one thing that we're really looking forward to because you know you can raise capacity but with social distancing it didn't really help, relaxing some of those social distancing requirements will really help us," said Cameron.

With the summer coming up, people are excited to see things headed toward normal once again.

"I definitely feel safe getting back out there and just starting to live life a little bit more again," said Jenna Paternostro of Middletown.

"It's been a long time coming, we've been cooped up so it's kind of nice that everything's opening back up again," said Maria Santopietro of Bristol.