As customers return to businesses across Burlington, they’ll likely notice a new addition to storefronts.
Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the ‘Masks Mean Business‘ campaign on Wednesday, which will look to bring awareness to the city’s new requirement that masks must be worn inside retail stores.
“Public health is good for business,” Mayor Weinberger said. “It turns out, the strategies that suppress the virus and keep us healthy are also the same strategies that will allow people to come out and support our businesses again, and feel safe doing so.”
Businesses were asking for a common standard on wearing masks, and City Council approved a resolution to make them mandatory on Monday.
Still, some are wondering how the rule will be enforced. Even before the new measures, a large majority of customers were already donning masks.
“The city is not going to be writing tickets, there’s no stick from the city for people that don’t comply with this,” Mayor Weinberger said. “People should understand that retailers and establishments, on their own, can decide that they don’t want to provide service to anyone not complying with public health regulations.”
Masks are available for Burlington residents at select locations detailed below:
Wednesday from 4-8 pm at the Fletcher Free Library
Thursday from 8 am to 2 pm at the Burlington Police Department
Saturday from 12 pm to 4 pm at the Fletcher Free Library
Mike Kanarick of the Burlington Electric Department has been helping spread the word on the effort with the Resource and Recovery Center.
“We encourage businesses to get the poster up, we like the consistency of the message if folks around the community use these posters,” Kanarick said. “We’re fortunate in Burlington that even though this is a requirement, people are always leading the pack by doing the right thing.”
As Burlington gradually bounces back and attempts to keep infections down, the June 1 move-in day that typically brings large crowds of college students to the region is looming.
There hasn’t been an official plan announced, but Weinberger said the city is currently in talks with the University of Vermont and the State. Right now, limiting the spread will depend on people following the 14-day quarantine and ensuring they’re healthy.
“Students or others who come into Vermont and quarantine should be tested partway through their quarantine,” Weinberger said. “This is a way we will quickly catch, in addition to quarantine, outbreaks at an early stage.”
Weinberger had previously floated the idea of having staff available to assist those in quarantine so they limit their contact with others.