Coronavirus in Vermont: What towns and businesses require face masks? Here are answers.

CLOSE

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Cities and towns across Vermont have in the past month developed new policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in many cases requiring residents to wear facial coverings when inside of public businesses.

In early April, Health Commissioner Mark Levine recommended that all Vermonters wear masks in public, following the Center for Disease Control’s reversal of its initial guidance against wearing facial coverings.

Up until this point, Gov. Phil Scott’s executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic and phased re-openings have only encouraged, not required, the public to wear coverings when interacting with people outside of their households.

Vermonters traveling via public transit such as buses, trains, or ride share services, as well as those waiting in airport terminals or bus depots, are required to wear masks. 

As of June 8, these are a few of the major municipalities that are requiring masks: 

Burlington

The city of Burlington requires staff and customers at retail establishments to wear face shields or coverings inside.

The resolution was passed through a City Council vote and went into effect May 18, applying to all businesses “open to the public for service and/or the sale of products and commodities on a retail basis.”

Establishments mentioned in the resolution include hardware, grocery and convenience stores. 

More:Burlington to require face shields, coverings in establishments

Brattleboro

Staff at retail establishments across Brattleboro, as welcustomers, are required to wear face coverings or shields while inside the premises, as of May 20.

South Burlington

South Burlington requires masks in city buildings, but is only recommending them in public spaces.

A resolution passed by South Burlington’s City Council on May 18 “strongly encouraged” all businesses and non-profits to mandate the wearing of facial coverings in their establishments, but the city itself would not enforce residents.

Voters for a recent school budget vote in South Burlington were required to wear a mask before entering the Orchard School polling station as part of anti-coronavirus measures. 

More:South Burlington requires masks in city buildings, advises public use

Montpelier

Any person entering a Montpelier public establishment that offers retail services is required to wear a face mask inside the building and in the presence of others, as of June 4.

The resolution was passed by Montpelier’s City Council last week and requires each establishment to post signage about their mask-wearing policies at entrances or transaction locations.

Wilmington

Wilmington residents are required to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when entering any municipal building or business located in the town. Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.  The resolution was approved by Wilmington’s Select Board and went into effect May 22.

Which store chains are requiring masks?

Among big box stores and grocery chains in Vermont, while many are adhering to hygiene and social distancing policies outlined by the Scott’s executive orders, some vary in their approach to requiring masks. 

In Williston, stores such as Staples, New Balance and AT&T are opened to walk-in customers, but require facial coverings. Costco in Colchester and Trader Joe’s in South Burlington also recommended their customers wear masks while inside the store or waiting in line.

Others such as Home Depot, do not require masks, but are counting the number of people that walk through the door to ensure they don’t exceed capacity at any given time.

Contact Ethan Bakuli at (802) 556-1804 or ebakuli@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BakuliEthan.

This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Sign up today for a subscription to the Burlington Free Press.

Read or Share this story: https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/life/2020/06/08/covid-19-vermont-what-towns-and-businesses-require-face-masks-covid-19/5317789002/