Westport to lift more restrictions at town buildings in June

Photo of Amanda Cuda
An exterior of Westport Town Hall in Westport, Conn., on Friday Apr. 17, 2020.

An exterior of Westport Town Hall in Westport, Conn., on Friday Apr. 17, 2020.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

Westport will slowly begin lifting more COVID restrictions starting June 1, Selectman Jim Marpe announced Thursday.

In a statement posted on Westport’s town website, Marpe said that town facilities will be expanding capacity starting June 1 “with the goal of returning to full in person and pre-Covid access,” but masks will continue to be required in all town facilities.

“Currently, there is no process in place to recognize the vaccination status of others,” Marpe said in the statement. “Because of that uncertainty, it is recommended that individuals err on the side of caution and assume in certain larger gatherings that there are those who are unvaccinated, and a mask should be worn. Since many institutions will follow this logic, most indoor mask wearing provisions will remain in place until there is a higher degree of certainty of increased vaccination rates.”

Town Hall is already open to the public, but, starting June 1, walk-in services for certain departments will be introduced, though appointments and remote services continue to be encouraged.

Most appointments will take place in the Town Hall lobby “to allow for optimal air circulation and social distancing.” The exterior tent also will be reinstalled for people who prefer to meet outdoors.

Some public meetings will begin to return to in-person attendance by both board or commission members and the public, though municipalities are still authorized to host remote public meetings until July.

“It is expected that additional board, committee and commission in-person meetings will gradually return over this time period,” Marpe said. “Public meeting announcements will indicate how meetings will be conducted.”

Other upcoming changes include the reopening of the Parks and Recreation Department’s administrative office on June 1. As with all other town facilities, masks must be worn in the office, and visitors are asked to practice social distancing.

At the time of Marpe’s announcement on Thursday, more than 3.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the state and roughly 1.7 million people were fully vaccinated. The state also reported that day that, between May 2 and May 15, there had been no new COVID cases in Westport.

In his statement, Marpe encouraged people who still felt comfortable wear a mask to continue doing so, and asked everyone to be “civil and courteous” to their fellow citizens.

“Our goal is to make the Town’s transition to pre-COVID operations as safe as possible for residents and employees,” Marpe said. “Your continued patience and cooperation are appreciated.”