by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the resumption of additional business operations, including outdoor seating at restaurants and bars, hair salons and barber shops and some additional health services. However, Scott also announced that all fairs and festivals for this summer have been canceled.
“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. “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.”
Effective today, May 22, restaurants and bars may reopen for limited outdoor seating, including for the sale and consumption of alcohol. In addition to existing health and safety requirements for all businesses, outlined by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), 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 or 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 Department of Health. Establishments serving alcohol will need to file a notice with the Department of Liquor and Lottery prior to reopening for outdoor service.
Effective May 29, hair salons and barber shops may reopen by appointment with limits on occupancy. Again, in addition to existing health and safety requirements for all businesses, ACCD has issued safety measures for hair salons and barbershops, including strict distance between customers, cashless or 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. To view the ACCD’s specific safety guidelines and protocols for all newly opened operations businesses, as well as additional resources, visit accd.vermont.gov.
The governor also authorized additional medical procedures and health services to resume, under the guidance of the Health Department. This includes 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.
Scott left open the possibility of allowing at some point out-of-state and returning Vermonters to quarantine out-of-state. But for now, and because of the infection rates in nearby regions, he is keeping the requirement that those coming to Vermont must quarantine in Vermont for at least 14 days.
To view the Health Department’s specific safety guidance and protocols for the restarted health services, visit https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-health-care-professionals.
- Bars, breweries, distilleries, wineries, cideries and tasting rooms may offer outdoor beverage service starting May 22 in compliance with this outdoor dining guidance, and the temporary outdoor consumption notification and permit stipulations established by the Department of Liquor and Lottery.
7.2 Religious facilities & places of worship (Effective May 23)
- Religious facilities and places of worship may resume operations subject to the mandatory health and safety guidance above, and:
- Outdoor, drive-in, and remote services remain the preferred method of operation.
- Operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 person per 200 square feet, whichever ensures physical distancing.
- Physical distancing between household/family units should be observed.
- Facial coverings are recommended.
7.3 Close Contact Business Stage 1 (Only Hair Salons and Barber Shops) (Effective 5/29)
Hair salons & barber shops may reopen subject to the mandatory health and safety requirements listed above, and:
- Operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater.
- Additionally, operators should separate customers in chairs, to achieve physical distancing of 6 feet for any activity that will occur for more than a few moments (e.g. a retail transaction).
- To the greatest extent possible, operations shall be by appointment only with specified time periods for each client. No walk-In appointments or at home visits (house calls) are allowed.
- Operations may serve only Vermont residents or others who have completed the prescribed quarantine.
- For retail sales, curbside pickup is preferred; no testing / demonstration of products is allowed; and cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.
- Operators must maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department.
- Only hair care services shall be offered during the first phase.
For the Governor’s full order, click here to view Addendum 15.
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 Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s business and sector guidance, visit https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business.
- The state’s modeling, visit dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.
Source: Governor 5.22.2020