Governor Scott lifts mask mandate for vaccinated Vermonters

Local News

With more than 60 percent of the population having received one dose of the vaccine, the Scott Administration says Vermont is ahead of schedule in getting back to normal.

On Friday afternoon, the state also issued an updated mask order.

This comes as the CDC announced new guidance, allowing fully vaccinated people to participate in both indoor and outdoors activities without a mask or physically distancing. Some exceptions include schools, public transportation, healthcare facilities, and prisons.

He called the new guidance “a monumental step forward.”

“The fact is, if you’re fully vaccinated, the health experts at the CDC have determined there is very little risk,” said Scott

In this next phase, he trusts Vermonters will continue to do what’s right.

“Back when we issued the mask mandate, a lot of the same questions came up: “how are we going to enforce this? And we said, we’re going to leave it up to the individuals, we’re going to leave it up to Vermonters who are going to do the right thing,” said Scott.

The same goes for businesses and employers, who will have the ability to keep or lift mask restrictions. 

“Knowing how strong our vaccination rates are here in Vermont, with thousands more getting their shots each day, we believe this guidance makes sense in Vermont and for fully vaccinated Vermonters,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine.

As for schools, Education Secretary Dan French plans to come out with new, fall guidance later this month. 

“I’m communicating to school leaders now that they should prepare for full in person, learning, and normal operations with the start of the school year in September,” said French.

Given the state’s high vaccination numbers, Levine says he isn’t too worried about relaxing restrictions. 

“People should realize that, though there is a chance of having a milder illness, it would not be a thing that should be in the forefront of their mind because they’re not going to get anything more severe than that most likely…And they’re probably not going to get that because the vaccine effectiveness is so high,” he said.

This transition points to the confidence the state has in the vaccine. 

“Not only are they safe and effective, but they mean normalcy. Because again, as the CDC said, when you’re fully vaccinated, you protected,” said Scott.

You’re considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your final dose. The Scott Administration says by next week, they plan to do the Covid-19 briefings without masks.

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