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Gov. Lamont: Bar areas unlikely to open this month

He says he's looking to see what's happening in other states.

MADISON, Connecticut — In has daily coronavirus update Thursday, Gov. Ned Lamont (D - Connecticut) said he will not move forward with Phase 3 of the state's reopen anytime soon. This includes bars, nightclubs and social clubs.

The pause due in large part to problems with the virus spiking elsewhere across the country.

Lamont, who held his media briefing at Hammonasset State Park's beach, says one of his biggest concerns, heading to this holiday weekend, is that, among the throngs at beaches, will be folks from some high-risk states.

"As I was driving through here, I was sort of looking for license plates seeing if there are any Florida plates or Arizona plates," Lamont said. "We love you, but not this month, guys."

Last week, the Governor declared that visitors from numerous states, including California, Arizona, Texas and Florida would be asked to quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival in Connecticut.

"They have pockets that have an infection rate that’s 10, 20 even 30 times more than Connecticut," Lamont said.

And, it appears folks from those states are listening.

"In talking to our airlines here, when we issued the quarantine directive, the number of people making reservations coming up from say Florida and South Carolina went down about 20 percent, he said.

Despite what’s happening in other states, Lamont will not pull back on the indoor dining, which presently stands at a maximum 50 percent of capacity.

"I urge you to go outdoors," Lamont said. "I urge you to take that outdoor dining every opportunity you can."

And, while Connecticut has posted seven straight days with fewer than 1% of coronavirus tests coming back positive, beach goers are taking social distancing seriously

"We did think about that," said Janet Vollmer, of Sandy Hook. "That was part of our discussion this morning, whether we should come or not. But, we did wear our masks."

A Hartford area family, deciding the beach was a bit too crowded, stuck to the picnic area at Hammonasset.

"You want to keep what the governor says," said one man. "Stay distant and 6 feet is OK. Use a mask."

"It’s open air, sun, saltwater and I feel like just a regular day at the beach," said Giuseppe Malangone of Wallingford.

One reminder: the state is asking you to keep outdoor groups to 100 or fewer people and indoors at a 25 person limit.

Bar areas and indoor dining are part of Phase 3 of the reopening plan. 

Lamont spoke at Hammonasset State Park Thursday morning. 

Bars are currently closed under state guidelines. 

Effective July 3, the following is allowed: 

  • Indoor private gatherings – 25 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings – 100 people, one time exception for Graduations @ 150 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. Fireworks, Concert in Municipal Park)  – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, cap of 500 people.  Event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance.
  • Outdoor Event Venues (e.g. Amphitheaters, Race Tracks) - 25% of Fire Capacity and distancing

According to the state's web site, decision will be made in July for the following: 

  • Indoor private gatherings – 50 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings (including graduations) – 250 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. fireworks, concerts in municipal parks) – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, no cap. Event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance.
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, race tracks) – 50% of fire capacity and distancing

RELATED: Gov. Lamont: COVID-19 positivity rate remains below 1% in Connecticut ahead of July 4th weekend

RELATED: Connecticut has the lowest rate of positivity for COVID-19 testing since crisis began