State orders more businesses closed, further limits size of gatherings

Hair salons, tattoo parlors and fitness centers are among the latest businesses that Gov. Phil Scott is shuttering due to Covid-19.Photos by, from left, Guilherme Petri, Julia Giacomini and Danielle Cerullo, courtesy Unsplash

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In an early morning press release, Gov. Phil Scott announced that the State of Vermont is ordering the closure of “close-contact” businesses and limiting the size of “non-essential” gatherings to 1o or fewer people.

The press release quotes Scott as saying, “I will continue act to slow the spread of this virus in Vermont because we must protect those at greatest risk of serious illness and ensure they can get the care they need, when they need it.”

Close-contact businesses include “gymnasiums, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, hair salons and barbers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors.” According to Scott’s order, these businesses are to close all in-person operations no later than 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23.

“I don’t make these decisions lightly and my heart goes out to these workers and small business owners who are feeling the negative effects,” Scott said in the press release.

Gov. Scott has also further reduced the allowable size of non-essential mass gatherings, which are now limited to no more than 10 people at the same time in a single space.

According to this morning’s press release, a “non-essential gathering” does not include normal operations at airports, bus or railway stations where persons may be in transit; typical office, construction, manufacturing, grocery, food production, retail and retail banking, professional or other employment environments; gatherings of the press; or operations of the Vermont Judiciary or General Assembly consistent with their constitutional authority.

According to the release, “all other businesses not named may remain open, but must work to implement CDC and the Vermont Department of Health guidance related to COVID-19, including:

  • Maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people;
  • Ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures, including regular, thorough handwashing;
  • Ensuring that employees who are sick remain home; and
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The addendum requires all public and private enterprises to post appropriate notices for compliance with the above listed recommendations.

Commercial entities, employers, event sponsors and others with questions should contact the State Emergency Operations Center at 800-347-0488.

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