Gov. Scott: If you don’t need to come to Vt., don’t New restrictions on lodging, mandated quarantine for travelers

Gov. Phil Scott File photo

By Shawn Cunningham
©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Scott today ordered restrictions on travelers arriving in Vermont and ordered the lodging industry — including Airbnbs and others offering short-term rentals as well as campgrounds and RV parks — to close and stop taking reservations.

“If you don’t need to come to Vermont, please don’t,” Scott said during a press conference. He also noted that the Centers for Disease Control has issued a travel advisory saying that residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut should refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days. Those who do come into Vermont — whether residents of another state or Vermonters returning to the state — are directed to self quarantine for 14 days to slow transmission of the disease.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, 15 of Vermont’s 256 Covid-19 positives are non-residents.

“I understand there will be some who need to travel from other states to return to a home in Vermont or support a vulnerable family member,”  said Scott., “But we need anyone entering Vermont to abide by this 14-day self-isolation directive, and then follow Vermont’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order while here. We must work together to slow the spread of this virus.”

VSP checks hotels, other lodging for compliance

Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling said that the Vermont State Police had visited 318 lodging places and found that 230 were closed with 88 remaining open. Of those open, half were not in compliance and were sent a letter by Attorney General T.J. Donovan.

Donovan said that the executive order does carry penalties for non-compliance including $1,000 to $10,000 civil penalties per violation and fines of $500 and up to six months in prison for criminal violations.

“The last thing any of us want to do is enforce these orders and seek these penalties,” said Donovan, adding that the state is eager to work with businesses to get voluntary compliance.

21 new infections, no deaths

In his briefing, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine announced that 21 people had tested positive for Covid-19 since yesterday raising the number of infected to 256. The good news is that no one had died from the disease.

There continues to be discrepancies between the numbers on the graph and the map that the Health Department releases every day. According to department spokesperson Ben Truman, this is the result of county information not being available at the time the map is generated and then being added at a different date.

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