The start date for Phase 2 of the Connecticut reopening process amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been moved up.
Restaurants, movie theaters and gyms may now reopen Wednesday, June 17.
Gov. Ned Lamont made the announcement late Friday morning, June 5.
The original date for the start of Phase 2 was Saturday, June 20.
"To avoid having Phase 2 of Connecticut's reopening efforts take effect during a busy Father's Day weekend, we're going to move it up a few days earlier," Lamont said.
Additional safety guidance for businesses that fall under Phase 2 will be released "in the next couple of days," Lamont said.
The new order does not allow bars to resume business, but fitness and sports clubs, amusement parks, museums, and zoos will be allowed to reopen. Libraries and some youth sports programs can also open up again under the new plan.
More than 500 restauranteurs in Connecticut pushed Lamont to ease up restrictions on restaurants to allow indoor dining amid the novel coronavirus. They had asked for indoor reopenings to start as soon as Wednesday, June 10.
While the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined dramatically in Connecticut the last few weeks, the state reached a grim milestone on Thursday, June 4.
Eighteen new COVID deaths brought the statewide total for fatalities during the pandemic to 4,007.
A total of 43,239 have tested positive for COVID in Connecticut, with 148 new cases.
There are 373 current COVID hospitalizations, a drop of 33 from a day earlier.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.