New Hampshire was the last state in New England to impose a statewide mask mandate in November. Friday, it became the first to lift it, as Republican Governor Chris Sununu said he would not renew the 6 month long restriction. Private businesses, towns and cites can still require masks for Granite Staters, though.
Vermont’s governor was not surprised. Phil Scott chalks this up to each state taking its own approach to combating COVID-19.
“Every governor has to take that into account and do what they think is best for their state as we have done here and as I have tried to do from the very beginning,” Gov. Scott said.
To date, 13 states across the country who had initiated a mask mandate, have lifted them. Governor Scott says the state is on course with its plan– Vermont Forward which aims to get the Green Mountain State back to normalcy by Independence Day. That’s also when Vermonters can expect their mask mandate to become a recommendation.
“We believe by the Fourth of July, we’ll be in much better shape,” Scott said. “We can always accelerate if we find things are getting much better than our expectations, but at this point in time, we think we’re doing the right thing.”
One tangible sign Vermonters will notice, Scott said Friday that roadside quarantine signs are coming down on Vermont highways. By May 1st, the state is expected to move to step 2 of its phased plan which will loosen restrictions on gatherings and events.