HARTFORD, Conn. (NewsNation Now) — Individuals who violate Connecticut’s mask order may now face $100 fines, state officials announced Monday.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s Office is still working to finalize the plan, which is set to take effect later this week, NewsNation affiliate WTNH reported.
State officials also announced a $250 fine for attending a gathering that exceeds the designated size limit of 25 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Those who organize an event that exceeds these size limits can be fined $500 under the new plan.
The fines can be issued by law enforcement, local chief elected official designees and public health officials, the governor said in his briefing Monday.
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Businesses will be held responsible for their employees, Lamont said.
“This is really following the lead of our municipalities, saying we need a little more leverage when people are breaking the rules, when institutions and businesses are breaking the rules,” Lamont said.
Lamont said the fines would be easier to enforce than an arrest.
Josh Geballe, chief operating officer of the Lamont administration, explained that mayors, health directors, municipal leaders and other local officials requested the change.
“The first tool that those municipal partners have is a misdemeanor, which could mean an arrest of someone,” he explained. “The consequence to that was there wasn’t really much that was being done because many people view that as excessively harsh for failing to wear a mask if they can’t socially distance.”