Vermont Governor Lifts All State Pandemic Restrictions
Vermont Governor Phil Scott has lifted all pandemic restrictions after the state surpassed its 80 percent COVID vaccination goal.
On April 6, the Republican announced a plan called Vermont Forward that laid out goals to fully reopen the state by July 4. On May 21, the governor said the goals in the plan were being met faster than anticipated and he challenged state residents to meet an 80 percent vaccination rate. If that goal was met Scott promised to lift all restrictions on that day. On Monday Governor Scott announced the state had reached the goal.
“Vermont has vaccinated 81.8 percent of 18-plus," Scott said. "Now here’s the news many have been waiting to hear and I have been waiting to deliver, for fifteen months. Now that we hit 80 percent as promised effective immediately I’m lifting all remaining state pandemic restrictions and the State of Emergency will formally end at midnight June 15th, tomorrow. So to be clear here’s what this change means and it’s really very simple: There are no longer any state COVID-19 restrictions. None. So unless there’s a federal requirement in place like for public transportation or long-term care facilities employers, municipalities and individuals can operate under the same conditions as before the pandemic.”
Dr. Mark Levine thanked Vermonters for what he called a significant achievement. But the state’s chief physician noted the global pandemic is not over and the state will continue efforts to vaccinate people.
“Together we’ve now attained a high level of protection in Vermont and that is no small feat," Levine said. "Our high vaccination rates will help keep Coronavirus activity at historically low levels. But of course it is my job to tell you that the work is far from over. We will continue getting as many Vermonters vaccinated as possible to keep this protection as strong as we can. For those who can’t get vaccinated we will do our best to keep you healthy. And to anyone who has chosen to not get vaccinated I ask you once again to reconsider.”
Officials say Vermont is the first state in the country to reach an 80 percent vaccination rate.
Governor Scott will also sign a new Executive Order to deal with what he calls potential gaps after Vermont’s State of Emergency expires so that pandemic relief for housing and food programs can continue.