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Connecticut Opens Vaccine Eligibility To 45+, Lifts Restaurant Restrictions Friday

Seth Wenig

Connecticut residents 45 and over are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday, the same day restaurants in Connecticut are allowed to fully reopen.

Governor Ned Lamont urges for patience in getting an appointment, as 400,000 residents become eligible.

“There’s always a big rush when you open up to a new age group. I’d urge you to be a little patient especially if you are healthy, you are not a restaurant worker, you can telecommute, you don't have to be there. Let those who are forward facing maybe a little more at risk let them get to the front of the line,” Lamont said.

Connecticut is expected to open eligibility to everyone 16 and older beginning April 5.

Lamont said the federal distribution of vaccines is ramping up with more doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine expected in the next few weeks.

Lamont also said there is state and federal relief available to help restaurants reopen.

There’s $28 billion in the American Rescue Plan to provide relief to the restaurant industry. Connecticut’s share is about $280 million. Lamont said that would go a long way to help revitalize a business that has taken a pounding from the pandemic. He urges state residents to do their part and patronize local eateries.

“Come back and support your local restaurants. They were there supporting you a year ago, in terms of pickups, delivering to shut-ins, making sure that folks who couldn’t get food had access. And here’s our chance to say thanks for everything you’ve done and what that means to our cities and town and the state of Connecticut,” Lamont said.

Lamont advised restaurant owners to expand their outdoor dining facilities that have become popular during the pandemic.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.