Policy allows quarantine-free travel from designated counties with a low number of active cases
Vermont Business Magazine As state data and expanded testing and tracing capacity continue to support reopening, Governor Phil Scott today announced he will expand the number of states covered under Vermont’s county-by-county quarantine-free travel policy, which allows direct travel from designated counties without a 14-day quarantine requirement.
In early June, the governor, in close consultation with the Vermont Department of Health, opened up travel to and from counties in New England and New York with less than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per one million residents without a quarantine requirement.
Effective July 1, this policy will be expanded to counties below this threshold in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia. Quarantine requirements remain in place for those traveling to and from other regions.
This will result in 19 million people being allowed to visit Vermont from "trusted counties" without having to quarantine either at home or when they get to Vermont. This brings the total number of trusted counties to 260 of a about 500 in this expanded region.
in addition, former "hot spots" like Boston and New York have moved into the yellow category from the red zones they've been in since near the beginning of the pandemic in March.
The governor note that COVID-19 cases are down 18 percent in the Northeast region and down 13 percent within a five-hour drive. He said the extended zone announced today is about the limit of a one-day's drive of about 10 hours.
He suggested that "trusted states" could be added from those that are, like Vermont, showing low infection rates. But they are still analyzing that part of the equation. Vermont has the fourth lowest number of cases, behind Montana, Alaska and Hawaii and one ahead of Wyoming.
Scott added that while there is no timeline for the reopening of the Canadian border, the same trusted county data could be applied to Canada. Quebec in particular has been seeing a drop in cases.
However, the governor at today's press briefing was asked about the impact of rising cases in other places in the nation and how some of those states, including California, Florida and Texas have stopped or slowed their economic reopening plans. He said that is why Vermont has been methodical in reopening, but acknowledged that the economic impacts in other parts of the nation inevitably affect the Vermont economy. "We don't live on an island," he said.
From all other areas, visitors must first either quarantine for two weeks before they arrive or for two weeks once they get here. That quarantine period can be reduced to seven days if they are tested for COVID-19
“Our hospitality sector and the thousands of jobs it provides Vermonters has been one of the worst hit by this pandemic, and even as we’ve reopened, it hasn’t been enough to help them make ends meet or put all of their employees back to work,” said Governor Phil Scott. “With this data-based approach to determine low-risk counties, we can welcome more people to Vermont and support these jobs while continuing to limit spread of the virus in Vermont.”
A map of the approved counties is posted on ACCD’s website and is updated weekly with the latest county designations. Vermonters planning to travel to other states should understand that each state may have its own quarantine policy and they should be familiar with, and respect, the quarantine policies of those states.
Visitors are strongly encouraged to register with Sara Alert for daily symptom reminders from the Vermont Department of Health and must attest to meeting the travel requirements. Lodging occupancy limits remain at 50% or 25 total guests and staff, whichever is greater, and health, spacing, group size and hygiene requirements remain in place. Click here to view all lodging requirements and guidance.
For more information on:
- COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visit www.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
- The Governor’s actions, visit governor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
- The state’s modeling, visit dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.
Source: Montpelier, Vt. – Governor 6.26.2020