Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott will loosen opening date requirements for lodging establishments from June 15 to May 22 under strict rules as part of his slow reopening of the economy and predicated on continued positive health data. The accelerated reopening comes with a mandatory 14-day quarantine, but would include non-residents. On Friday, May 15, Governor Phil Scott will announce an extension of the State of Emergency and modifications to the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order.
Commerce Secretary Lindsay Kurrle announced the lodging changes Tuesday evening and said in a statement: "We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time as we work to protect the health and safety of our state while slowly reopening the economy. We realize the tremendous burden this pandemic has caused you and your business. If the data continues to move in the right direction, Friday should be a first step in getting our world-class lodging sector up and running again."
This phased restart for the lodging industry will mean all lodging properties (including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals, and all public and private camping facilities and RV parks) must remain closed per existing orders (including the relevant exemptions) and should cancel reservations between May 15, 2020 and May 22, 2020.
Effective May 22, the governor hopes, subject to additional public health data and input from the Department of Health, to authorize modified lodging operations with specific health and safety requirements, and occupancy/capacity limits, for the purpose of serving Vermont residents and non-residents who can verify they have met the 14-day quarantine requirement. Please note, however, that this is subject to change based on the data and assessment of the Department of Health.
Further, all reservations from out of state guests who cannot meet the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement must be canceled through June 15, 2020. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development also advises that reservations for stays after June 15 may still need to be canceled or restricted pending any additional guidance or future Executive Orders.
Additional guidance will be forthcoming on Friday, including details on what the first phase of reopening lodging will look like. Again, you can expect mandatory health and safety regulations, occupancy/capacity limits, and reduced ability to book out of state guests who have not quarantined for 14 days.
Adjustments to the order and additional guidance in the weeks ahead will safely restart Vermont’s economy through a phased approach, that modifies operations to reduce risk. As from the beginning of this emergency, a close eye will be kept on the data in Vermont, regionally, and around the country.
Source: Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing 5.12.2020