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Lamont announces new $10,000 fines for Connecticut businesses that break COVID-19 rules

Connecticut businesses that violate the state’s COVID-19 restrictions and capacity limits will now be subject to fines of $10,000 per violation beginning Thursday.

Gov. Ned Lamont said the new rules were crafted after feedback from municipal leaders, public health officials and the business community about the current $500 fine amount for breaking the so-called sector rules and with the holiday shopping season around the corner.

“The sector rules and capacity limits we’ve implemented are intended to mitigate the spread of this disease to the greatest extent possible,” Lamont said in a statement Tuesday evening. “While the overwhelming majority of businesses in Connecticut have shown an incredible amount of leadership and have been fantastic partners in this front, we have seen a small number of businesses in flagrant violation of these public health rules, and that’s all you need to cause a super-spreading event that leads to a large number of cases and hospitalizations.

“Increasing compliance with the protocols we’ve already enacted is an important responsibility in keeping our communities safe,” he continued. “We want to do everything we can to mitigate the further spread of this virus while avoiding the implementation of more restrictions or lockdowns on our already hard-hit economy and small businesses.”

The fines can be issued by local health directors, with the support local police departments, and the state’s other existing fines will remain in effect. Those other fines include $500 for organizing an event over capacity limits, $250 for attending over-capacity events, $100 for not wearing a face mask in public and up to $500 for violations of the state’s travel advisory.

“Particularly as we approach Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season, we want to stress the importance of following public health protocols to protect both customers and workers,” Lamont said. “Working together, we can get the spread of COVID-19 under control while mitigating the impact that it is having on our economy.”




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