What will life in Vermont look like after the coronavirus pandemic shutdown ends?



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Measures announced by Gov. Phil Scott over the last several weeks have gradually loosened the restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

As Vermont attempts to restart activities and business for state residents, Gov. Scott has indicated that he will modify the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order issued on March 24, but has yet to provide more details.

“We don’t want to throw the switch on and allow everything to go back to normal like we had two or three months ago,” Scott said in a news conference Monday.

“We’re very much still watching this virus and the tremendous spread, the transmission.”

Scott added that the relaxation would still encourage people to limit their travels and interactions with other people. The governor said he would continue to watch COVID-19 data and talk to experts before any final decision is announced.

When will stores be open for business?

Vermont’s retail stores will be allowed to reopen as soon as May 18, Scott announced on Monday.

In order to reopen, stores will have to abide by certain provisions, such as requiring masks for all employees and limiting the number of people inside a store at any given time. Big box stores, such as Walmart and Costco, can start selling non-essential items again.

For more: Vermont retail stores to reopen after coronavirus shutdown

The public is encouraged but not required to wear masks, Scott said, although individual stores may create their own policies requiring facial coverings for customers, depending on what they deem is appropriate.

Are Farmer’s Markets open?

As of May 1, all Vermont farmer’s markets are permitted to reopen, albeit with tighter health and safety protocols.

For more:Montpelier’s farmers market reopens, with caution

Some markets in Chittenden County have opted to cancel their season due to financial challenges brought on by the pandemic, while others plan to reopen toward the beginning of June

Times and dates listed below for farmer’s market seasons could change depending on state health regulations. Please check with the market in advance:

  • Burlington — 351 Pine Street, old Greyhound bus station; hours to be determined; June 6 – Oct. 17.
  • Burlington Old North End — LIKELY CANCELLED.
  • Jericho — Mills Riverside Park; Thursdays, 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.; May 28 – October 1.
  • Milton — Hannaford Plaza; Thursdays 3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.; June 6 – October 10.
  • Richmond — Volunteers Green, behind the playground this year. Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. (3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. later in the season).; June 5 – October 16. Closing one week later than last year.
  • Shelburne — CANCELLED.
  • Williston — Isham Family Farm Barn (3515 Oak Hill Rd); Tuesdays 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.; June 16 – Aug. 18.
  • Winooski— CANCELLED.

What about K-12 schools, childcare and summer camps?

Schools will still be out for the rest of the school year, although plans for summer school programs and services have not been announced.

On March 26, Scott declared that all in-person instruction for Vermont schools would be closed for the remainder of the year, as students and teachers transitioned to remote learning

Meanwhile, childcare programs and summer camps will be allowed to open this summer, provided they follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For more:Vermont allows summer camps, day care facilities to open — carefully

This story will be updated.

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

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