Small gatherings of 10 people or fewer will now be allowed in Vermont, albeit with precautions, Gov. Phil Scott announced during a Wednesday news briefing.
“We can now take some steps to restart social visits and enjoy some recreation,” said Scott, noting the sacrifices Vermonters have undergone during the stay home order has allowed the state to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“These small gatherings will give Vermonters a chance to safely reunite, if we do so carefully.”
Small groups gather in the ice-cream line at Burlington Bay in Burlington on May 3, 2020. (Photo: JOEL BANNER BAIRD/FREE PRESS)
Vermonters will be allowed to reconnect with family members and friends in outdoor settings, or with other “trusted households” that are also taking necessary precautions and practicing social distancing.
In each scenario, the use of facial coverings or masks is encouraged.
“There’s no specific set of guidelines or enforcement measures we can put in place, so we need Vermonters to use some common sense during these visits,” said Scott.
“Stay Home, Stay Safe” will continue to be in effect, Scott noted, and residents over the age of 65 as well as Vermonters with pre-existing health conditions are recommended to continue to stay home in the interim.
Read the text of the governor’s order here.
Residents hoping to leave Vermont are still required to quarantine at home for 14 days once they return to the state. Those hoping to explore trails and parks across the state will no longer be limited to the 10-mile radius officials previously advised.
“Now more than ever, we need to rekindle these relationships with the outdoors,” said Julie Moore, secretary of the state’s Agency of Natural Resources.
Outdoor recreation sites like parks, ball fields and courts, alongside businesses affiliated with outdoor activities that require little to no direct contact, will be allowed to reopen, although spectator events and recreation leagues will not be permitted.
Contact Ethan Bakuli at (802) 556-1804 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BakuliEthan.
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