Tourism Coalition News

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“We support CT Tourism!” Thanks so much to Frank Burns and the CT Tourism Coalition for recognizing our efforts to support and promote our state’s arts, culture, tourism and hospitality industries which create so many direct and indirect jobs and make our beautiful state such a fun, enjoyable place! Thanks as well to the Saybrook Point Inn for hosting the tourism discussion.
Visit Connecticut
Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa
Holly Cheeseman
State Senator Paul Formica
Connecticut Tourism Coalition

Press Releases

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Reminds Residents That Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Is Scheduled To Increase on Sunday

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont is reminding Connecticut residents that – as a result of legislation he enacted two years ago scheduling several increases in the minimum wage over a five-year period – the minimum wage in the state will increase from the current rate of $12.00 per hour to $13.00 per hour beginning on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

“Nobody working a full-time job should live in poverty,” Governor Lamont said. “For too long, while the nation’s economy grew, the income of the lowest earning workers has stayed flat, making already existing pay disparities even worse and preventing hardworking families from obtaining financial security. This is a fair, modest increase, and the money earned by workers will go right back into our own economy, supporting local businesses and our communities.”

“Every single worker in Connecticut deserves dignity,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “This progress towards Connecticut’s $15 an hour minimum wage will lift our state up and ensure that nobody working a full-time job lives in poverty. I join Governor Lamont in applauding this milestone for working families in Connecticut, and I share his continued commitment to the hardworking women and men of our state.”

Signed into law by Governor Lamont in 2019, Public Act 19-4 requires the minimum wage to increase five times over a five-year period, from the then-rate of $10.10 to:

  • $11.00 on October 1, 2019;
  • $12.00 on September 1, 2020;
  • $13.00 on August 1, 2021;
  • $14.00 on July 1, 2022; and
  • $15.00 on June 1, 2023.

Ultimately, beginning on January 1, 2024, that same public act requires the minimum wage to become indexed to the employment cost index, which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor, and for the first time in Connecticut the rate will grow according to economic indicators.

Press Releases:

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont announces plans to further ease some COVID-related restrictions

Governor Lamont today announced that over the coming weeks he plans to further ease some of the restrictions on certain sectors that were put into effect at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:

Effective May 1, 2021:

  • Bars that do not serve food can open for service on an outdoor-only basis. These establishments will still be prohibited from serving only alcohol indoors.
  • The 8-person per table limit will be lifted for outdoors only. This limit will remain in effect for indoor service.
  • The curfew for restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation venues, and theaters will be moved back an hour to midnight.

Effective May 19, 2021:

  • Contingent upon sufficiently low rates of infections and increasing vaccination rates, all remaining business restrictions will be lifted. The Department of Public Health will issue recommendations for indoor and other large outdoor events, such as concerts, as well as clarify where masking will continue after May 19.

    H.B. No. 6119
    Session Year 2021

    To strengthen the arts, culture and tourism sector in the state by directing additional funds into the Tourism Fund, and renaming the fund to better represent the full scope of the sector.


Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Will Continue Age-Based Approach To COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility; Educators and Childcare Providers To Have Dedicated Clinics in March

Governor Directs Department of Public Health and Vaccine Providers to Prioritize High-Risk Communities

(HARTFORD, CT) – In an effort to ensure that Connecticut continues taking the most equitable and efficient approach to quickly administering the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible, Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the state will continue with an age-based approach to expanding eligibility to the vaccine, explaining that other previously considered scenarios proved overly complex and confusing, would potentially exacerbate inequities in vaccine distribution, and slow down the process of providing it to Connecticut residents.

Age is one of the strongest factors contributing to COVID-19 deaths, with 96 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Connecticut occurring in people over the age of 55.

To provide clarity and predictability, the governor today announced a schedule for age-based eligibility for the next several months. By laying out a clear timeline for eligibility for the vaccine, the strategy allows everyone in the state, including essential workers and those with chronic conditions, to know when they will be able to schedule an appointment. The planned schedule is as follows:

  • March 1, 2021: Expands to age group 55 to 64
  • March 22, 2021: Expands to age group 45 to 54
  • April 12, 2021: Expands to age group 35 to 44
  • May 3, 2021: Expands to age group 16 to 34

Proposed H.B. No. 6119
Session Year 2021


Press Releases

Governor Ned Lamont


Due to the increasing rate of COVID-19 in Connecticut, Governor Lamont has ordered the entire state to roll back to Phase 2.1 rules – a slightly modified version of the previously enacted Phase 2 rules – effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 6.  A comparison of Phases 2, 2.1 and 3 rules can be found below.

Phase 2.1 Reopen Rules by Sector (effective 12:01 a.m. Nov. 6, 2020)

Press Releases

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Allocates $15 Million From Coronavirus Relief Fund Toward Innovative Workforce Programs Connecting Workers To in-Demand Jobs

Press Releases

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont and Mystic Aquarium Leadership Unveil Long-Term Restructure Plan


New Reopen Connecticut Tourism Campaign: So Good to See You!

Press Releases

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Announces Assistance for Renters, Homeowners, and Residential Landlords Impacted by COVID-19 Emergency


Governor Lamont Announces Plans for the 2020-21 School Year Amid the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic


Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Response Efforts

Governor Ned Lamont

Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Response Efforts


Latest Data as of 5:30PM on Monday, June 15, 2020

Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Response Efforts


Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Releases Business Documents for Phase 2 Reopening on June 17

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Response Efforts

Latest Data as of 7:00PM on Monday, June 1, 2020

Connecticut arts, culture and tourism advocates push for more payroll loan flexibility for-more-payroll-loan-flexibility

As Federal Aid Expires and Businesses are Slow to Reopen, Officials Discuss Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program officials-discuss-changes-to-the-paycheck-protection-program/


What Happened This Past Week?

Phased Reopening  

In Governor Lamont’s daily press release yesterday, he unveiled his plan for the second and third phase of reopening the state. As of now, phase two of reopening is scheduled for around June, 20. Some of what will be permitted to open in phase two include businesses that offer personal services, indoor restaurants, hotels, outdoor arts, entertainments and events with up to 50 people. Lamont announced that the rules and guidelines to reopen for phase two will be released two weeks prior to the opening date. While Lamont did not go too in depth with the phase three reopening, he expects it to occur at least four weeks after the second phase of reopening. As a reminder, the scheduling of the phased re-opening is copied at the bottom of this email.

Pushback from Towns, Businesses, Casinos

It’s unclear how the state will be able to enforce businesses using appropriate PPE and distancing measures—they will likely leave this up to municipalities and local health departments, but it is clear that not everyone is on board with the plan. The Town Council of the town of Cromwell recently passed a declaration that would allow businesses to re-open there, in contrast with the state plan. A barbershop in Stonington recently re-opened in defiance of the state’s rules, and the state appears to be letting the local health department handle enforcement of this. And perhaps most notably, the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos have announced plans to re-open on June 1, which has drawn a strong rebuke from the Governor’s office for being too early. We will be monitoring how, if, and when enforcement of the state’s reopening plan will be taking place.

Hair Salons and Barber Shops to Reopen June 1

While hair salons and barbershops were originally included in phase one of the reopening plan to begin May 20, that date has been pushed back to June 1, seemingly at the request of salon and barbershop owners. Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island announced their intention to align the reopening of hair salons and barbershops in their in early June. Lamont feels that the decision to push back the reopening date will allow businesses extra time to prepare, ensuring proper safety.

Lamont Signs Executive Order to Allow Voters to Vote Absentee in Primary

This week, Governor Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7QQ which allows eligible Connecticut voters to vote absentee in the August 11 Primary Elections. This is one of the many adjustments Lamont is making to reflect the current state of emergency while ensuring that the democratic process continues safely and securely. Under this Executive Order, a person will be able to lawfully vote by absentee if there is no federally approved and widely available vaccine. To read more in depth on how the voting process will work, please refer to the full press release here.


Governor Lamont Signs Executive Order Allowing All Eligible Connecticut Residents to Vote Absentee in August 11 Primary Elections

CT Business Reopening and Recovery Center

Please note, DECD is requiring businesses that are reopening to “self certify“ that they will take the proper measures to safely reopen. Before re-opening, businesses are expected to fill out the form located here:


Governor Lamont Releases Rules for Businesses Under First Phase of Connecticut’s Reopening Plans Amid COVID-19


COVID-19 Operating Guidelines for Connecticut’s Arts & Culture Industry

Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Response Efforts

Latest Data as of 7:30PM on Thursday, April 30, 2020

COVID metrics

COVID metrics

COVID metrics

COVID metrics

COVID metrics

COVID metrics

COVID-19 Update from the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut

Governor Ned Lamont

Press Release from the Governor’s office

Lamont-Bysiewicz policy committee submits recommendation on CT arts, culture and tourism

Fox 61, December 19, 2018

A coalition’s approach to bring tourism to Connecticut

WTNH, November 20, 2018


Connecticut Tourism Coalition

Connecticut Tourism Coalition