Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Vermont, US, to extend facemask requirements starting Aug. 1. Travel and other restrictions remain in place due to COVID-19.

  • Alert Begins: 31 Jul 2020 06:00 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 17 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Vermont (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Vermont Governor Philip Scott has issued orders to expand the protective facemask requirement statewide, starting Aug. 1, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The new directive orders all residents over the age of two to wear facemasks in indoor and outdoor settings whenever social distancing is not possible.

Other travel and business restrictions remain in effect until further notice. Travelers from states within the US Northeastern region - specifically those from 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 - may enter Vermont for leisure travel with no need to quarantine upon arrival, 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-like symptom within the past 24 hours.

Event venues, restaurants, bars, 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 only 25-percent capacity. All businesses must enhance sanitation procedures, ensure social distancing between employees and customers, limit face-to-face interactions, ensure employees wear face coverings and other protective equipment if needed, and send any worker with COVID-19 symptoms home.

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

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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