A Plan for ReOpening

VERMONT - As more and more vaccines get distributed, Vermonters can start looking forward to the state opening up fully.  Governor Phil Scott and his team have put together an exit plan which will help Vermont reopen by July 4th.

Starting on April 9th, unvaccinated travelers will no longer have to quarantine when entering the state.  However, they will still need to be tested and receive a negative result within 3 days of arrival.

On May 1st, indoor gatherings may include up to 150 people, and outdoor gatherings may have up to 300, not including anyone fully vaccinated.

If all goes well and enough Vermonters get vaccinated, Scott says that by June, no testing or quarantining will be required, and gathering restrictions may be lifted more.

Vermonters are still expected to follow all mask and social distancing guidelines.

"After the 4th, our guidance would become just that, guidance, not mandates; recommendations rather than requirements. By then, we'll have been through 19 months of a historic pandemic response," said Governor Phil Scott.

As for the future, Covid-19 is still expected to hang around and become a seasonal infection.

"Knowledge, personal responsibility, and science. These are the tools we've used to protect ourselves and manage this virus. In the future, we'll be managing Covid like we do with the seasonal flu," Scott said.

At present, 25.7% of all Vermonters are considered fully vaccinated, and 42.2% have received at least 1 dose.  If Scott's plan holds, Vermont businesses that operate outdoors and restaurants that have outdoor dining can see a change in operation by the beginning of May.  Other businesses that could return to normal include farmers markets, outdoor recreation and fitness, and campgrounds and lodging.

Scott's reopening plan comes as Vermont is experiencing some of the highest Covid case counts since the start of the pandemic.  There have been several days over the last few weeks where new case counts have reached over 200.  In addition, Dr. Mark Levine indicated that the new P.1 variant has been found in Vermont.  This variant is known to be more transmittable. 

"The variants we have found in Vermont spread more quickly from person to person. Faster than we can vaccinate people. This is why everyone needs to strictly follow guidance to prevent spread of the virus. To each take the important personal responsibility to keep illness from spreading and to limit the odds of more variants of concern from developing here," said Levine.