Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Vermont, US, ease business restrictions as of Sept. 22 due to a decrease in coronavirus disease activity.

Alert Begins 22 Sep 2020 08:05 PM UTC
Alert Expires 13 Oct 2020 05:35 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Vermont (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
Vermont Governor Philip Scott has eased some business restrictions put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of Sept. 22.

Under the new guidelines, hotels will be able to operate at 100-percent capacity. Restaurants may continue to operate at 50-percent capacity and will be able to resume bar seating. Otherwise, previously imposed restrictions remain in place. All residents over the age of two must wear protective face coverings in indoor and outdoor settings whenever social distancing is not possible. Event venues, houses of worship, cultural and entertainment facilities, and lodgings are allowed to operate, albeit with strict capacity limitations. Close-contact businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, gyms, and fitness centers, as well as nonessential retail stores, may operate at a limited 25-percent capacity. All businesses must enhance sanitation procedures, ensure social distancing between employees and customers, limit face-to-face interactions, and ensure employees wear protective face coverings or other protective equipment if needed. Employees displaying any COVID-19 symptoms should be promptly sent home.

Gatherings of more than 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors remain banned statewide; however, local authorities may impose stricter restrictions on gatherings. Additionally, local officials may also limit the time bars and restaurants sell alcohol to their customers.

Authorities also maintain current travel directives, which permit travelers from locations within the US Northeastern region - specifically Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia - to travel to Vermont for leisure with no need to quarantine, provided their county of residence has fewer than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per million inhabitants. Leisure travelers to Vermont from any other US state, or from any county located in a Northeastern region state and which has 400 or more active cases per million persons, must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Alternatively, travelers to Vermont can self-quarantine for seven days upon arrival if they take a COVID-19 test that has a negative result. Business travelers are exempt from the quarantine requirement provided they are entering Vermont to perform authorized essential work, have not been in contact with a person with COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, and have not exhibited COVID-19-like symptom within the past 24 hours.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm appointments. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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