Masking and Vaxxing Requirements

    The masking and vaxxing requirements are changing regularly, and they can be confusing for most of us. I walk into some stores and there are no worries if I don’t wear a mask. In others I can tell before I reach the front door that it is best I don my mask as I have for the last year. You can never be sure about what the rules or expectations are.
    But the state has recently issued some new guidance on mask wearing, and it probably makes sense to share it with you so you have a better idea of what you can and cannot do as the summer unofficially begins.
    First, according to state guidelines, you are not required to wear a mask outdoors. That is the case whether you have gotten a vaccination or not. So if you’re heading to the beach this weekend, you won’t need your mask. Same for hiking, fishing, or Little League games. Family picnic – no need for a mask.
    But don’t be so sure about heading to an outdoor concert venue. That is because businesses and state and local governments can still require universal masking if they choose. While some states, like Texas, have prohibited businesses from mandating masks, Connecticut has not. It is best for you to check with an outdoor venue before assuming that no mask will be required.
    The rules are different for indoor venues.
    If you are fully vaccinated, the general rule is that you do not have to wear a mask. But you also know that plenty of venues are still expecting you to wear one. Take a walk into the grocery store and you will see most folks wearing masks along with the employees. But if you choose not to wear a mask, you will be in compliance with current state rules. However, the business owner can still require you to wear a mask.
    There is another set of exceptions, too. Healthcare facilities still require you to wear a mask, as do public and private transit facilities. If you hail an Uber because you expect to have a few beers with friends this weekend, you’ll have to put a mask on when you get in the car. Headed to the airport for summer vacation? You’ll need to wear a mask as soon as you enter the airport property until you exit the airport property at your destination.
    Schools in Connecticut are still mandating masks, as are jails, and any facilities catering to vulnerable populations.
    There is a caveat though. If you have a medical condition that is exacerbated by wearing a mask, you can decline to wear a mask and you will not be required to prove the medical condition.
    Head spinning yet? You are probably no longer surprised why folks get so agitated when it comes to mask wearing. The rules are not clear. They are designed to agitate.
    If you are not vaccinated, you have to wear a mask except when you are outside. If you are vaccinated, you should carry a mask and expect to put it on when you are at an indoor venue and when at some outdoor venues.
    Vaccinations keep increasing. At some point, infection rates are going to diminish to such a level that masks may become a thing of the past. For the near future, though, keep them handy.

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