As handful of Church Street retailers reopen, City Council approves mask requirement

Local News

BURLINGTON, Vt. – As businesses reopen around Vermont, the state’s largest city has made wearing masks a requirement in retail stores.

Burlington City Council voted on the resolution Monday night. A handful of Church Street businesses reopened their doors Monday, and many had already required customers to wear masks.

Homeport, a large lifestyle and home furnishing store, even provided customers with a single-use mask if they didn’t have one on.

“I’ll tell you today, out of the 150 people we’ve had through the doors, I had two who did not have masks with them,” said co-owner Mark Bouchett. “Both of them were happy to have it, put it right on, and we’ve had zero problems with people coming in without masks.”

Small groups of people made their way down Church Street curiously examining storefronts, occasionally venturing inside. It’s far from the springtime crowds Bouchett is used to, but a relief all the same.

“It’s been fantastic, we’ve been so happy to get our doors open,” Bouchett said.

Dozens of Church Street businesses remain temporarily shuttered, and Bouchett said the process of re-opening hasn’t been easy. Throughout the shutdown, he was in constant contact with the Church Street Marketplace and other resources while ensuring his business would be ready to go.

“I’m nervous,” Bouchett said. “I haven’t been this nervous since I opened my store. The response from the public has been fantastic. They’ve been happy to come out.”

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