Scott relaxes stay-at-home order; small social gatherings, some outdoor activities allowed

Coronavirus

Vermonters may now leave their homes for small social gatherings of 10 or fewer people, as well as for outdoor exercise and recreation that require minimal physical contact, Gov. Phil Scott announced Wednesday.

Scott’s addendum to his March 6 “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive permits friends, family and neighbors to connect with others from “trusted households” that are following social distancing and other health and safety recommendations by state and federal health officials.

“These small gatherings will give Vermonters a chance to safely reunite if we do so carefully,” he said. “This means mainly outdoor activities because it is easier to physically distance when there is more space.”

The governor continued to encourage residents to wear face masks when they gather, and he has asked health officials to develop further guidelines to allow friends and families to get together safely in small groups.

Julie Moore, the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, said safety will still be the number one priority as things reopen. The new rules on outdoor exercise and recreational activities ask that Vermonters “arrive, play and leave.”

Groups may not congregate before or after activities, such as tailgate parties, and any rental equipment available must be thoroughly disinfected between users.

“Organizations that support or offer outdoor recreation and fitness activities that require low or no direct contact may return to operations,” she said. “These include things like skate parks, ball fields, trail networks.”

This story will be updated.

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