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Connecticut starts to take off the mask - with some trepidation - as COVID-19 restrictions eased

Gov. Ned Lamont said the state will operate under an honor system, and as of right now, people do not have to show their vaccine cards.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut lifted its mask mandate for many people in the state on Wednesday – after more than a year.

However, there are some restrictions.

For instance, the lift on the mask mandate only applies to people who are fully vaccinated, meaning they have waited two weeks since their last dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC.

“I’m still going to wear a mask, I still feel like it is in my best interest,” said Lisa Tanen-Lafontaine of West Hartford. “I also have a mother who not well, who I am going to visit.”

On Wednesday, Tanen-Lafontaine enjoyed a mask-less breakfast outside with her friend, Kim Lytle, also of West Hartford. The pair had not seen each other in quite some time because of the pandemic. While they are excited for progress, they also say that they’ll continue to be cautious.

“I’m going to do everything I can to protect myself,” said Tanen-Lafontaine. “I guess if people are comfortable doing it, I mean it’s their choice, but I’m not comfortable yet”

“I’m definitely excited about the lifting of the mask mandate,” said Lytle. “I do think it’s still prudent in group settings to wear it. I recently took public transportation had my mask on, everybody else did. So, I have no issues about that.”

One of the biggest questions though, how will businesses know who has and has not been vaccinated?

Gov. Ned Lamont said the state will operate under an honor system, and as of right now, people do not have to show their vaccine cards.

“It is very scary because you’re not going to walk around like, excuse me can I see your vaccine card, excuse me can I see your vaccine card,” said Tanen-Lafontaine. “It is the honor system so I will do what I can to protect myself.”

The governor added that every store, business, and restaurant can operate under its own rules.

“Fortunately my family is all vaccinated, and everyone is healthy, so I have reached a point, where I would be comfortable, if the business allows it to not have the mask,” said Lytle. “Then, I’d be ok with going without it.”

The CDC’s guidance does still call for everyone to wear masks in crowded indoor settings, like buses, planes, and hospitals, to name a few.

“I wish people would get vaccinated,” said Tanen-Lafontaine. “It’s free, it’s easy, there’s so much availability right now, I just wish people would do it.”

“150 some odd million shots have been given, I think we have good enough data to show that it’s safe,” said Lytle. “So, I’d absolutely say, get the vaccine, and for people like my friend Lisa, who wants to continue to wear a mask, there’s no issue with that. I think everyone just does what they are most comfortable with.”

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