Courtesy of CT-N

HARTFORD, CT — Local officials and police will soon be allowed to fine people who fail to follow mask orders or event sizes, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

The state plans to institute a $100 fine for violating a mask order, a $500 fine for organizing an event that exceeds size limits, and a $250 fine for attending an event that exceeds the size limits.

Lamont said his administration will implement these new fines through an executive order. The fines follow conversations with local municipal officials about what can be done about those who aren’t socially distancing or wearing masks.

Josh Geballe, Lamont’s chief operating officer, said the tools that local police have currently for someone who violates these orders now is a misdemeanor, which would mean arrest.

“The consequence of that was that there wasn’t very much being done,” Geballe said. “Because many people view that as excessively harsh for failing to wear a mask if you couldn’t socially distance.”

Currently, gatherings of 25 people are allowed at private residences indoors and 100 people outdoors.

The effective date for these fines will be finalized later this week.

An additional 569 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the state’s total to 54,895.

With nearly 50,000 tests performed over the last three days, the positive test rate is just above one percent at 1.16%.

And another 5 people have died, while 64 remain hospitalized.

The list of states on Connecticut’s travel advisory will be issued Tuesday.

Lamont said they’ve changed the rules and those traveling to Connecticut will not have to quarantine for 14 days if they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to arriving to the state.