Coronavirus updates

Restaurants, salons, religious service, health services reopen

Gov. Scott gears up for June 1 when remaining business sectors can open with consistent, capacity and health requirements

On Friday, May 22, Governor Phil Scott announced the resumption of additional business operations, including outdoor seating at restaurants and bars just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Hair salons, barber shops and some additional health services were also permitted to reopen.

However, indoor gyms and fitness centers were not yet permitted, and Scott announced all fairs, festivals and mass gatherings on fairgrounds have been canceled through the summer, including the Vermont State Fair in Rutland, which was scheduled for Aug. 18-22. It would have been the 175th Vermont State Fair.

“I believe these steps forward will be welcome news for many and because Vermonters are being smart to stay safe, our data continues to show we’re still moving in the right direction,” said Governor Scott at the regular press conference Friday. “As more Vermonters get back to work and there are more places to visit and meet with others, it is more important than ever to stay vigilant about your health and the health of others.”

As of Friday, May 22, restaurants and bars could reopen for limited outdoor seating, including for the sale and consumption of alcohol. In addition to existing health requirements for all businesses, reservations or call ahead seating is required with strict limits on table distance and occupancy. Additional safety measures are strongly encouraged, including phone or electronic ordering, takeout service rather than table side delivery of food and cashless/touchless transactions.

Operators must also maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Vermont Dept. of Health. Establishments serving alcohol will need to file a notice with the Dept. of Liquor and Lottery prior to reopening for outdoor service.

This Friday, May 29, hair salons and barber shops will be able to reopen by appointment with limits on occupancy. Again, in addition to existing health requirements for all businesses, hair salons and barbershops must maintain strict distance between customers, cashless/touchless transactions and curbside pickup for retail sales. As with other businesses, salons and barbershops must maintain a customer log in case contact tracing is required.

Religious facilities and places of worship were also permitted to resume operations in accordance with the mandatory health guidance. However, outdoor, drive-in, and remote services remain the preferred method of operation. Operations must be limited to 25% of approved fire safety occupancy or 1 person per 200 square feet, whichever ensures physical distancing.

Friday, the governor also authorized additional medical procedures and health services to resume, under the guidance of the Health Dept. Among those were: inpatient surgeries and procedures; outpatient services, including clinic visits, diagnostic imaging and limited outpatient surgeries and procedures; and elective dental services. Each service area must follow stringent mitigation strategies and a phased implementation timeline, developed in consultation with industry associations and experts.

Because of the infection rates in nearby regions, Scott is keeping the requirement that those coming into Vermont from out-of-state (including returning Vermonters) must quarantine in Vermont for at least 14 days before exposure to others in public places.

Testing is available for those that have been in quarantine for at least seven days and wish to be absolved of the remaining seven days. Those coming into Vermont can get tested at pop-up sites throughout the state if asymptomatic. Reservations required at: humanresources.vermont.gov/popups.

For those with symptoms tests are available through primary care or urgent care or community clinics anytime, call a doctor to schedule.

For specific safety guidelines, visit: accd.vermont.gov.

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