Mask mandate lifted for vaccinated individuals, accelerates Vermont Forward Plan

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott announced Friday that because Vermont has already hit its necessary vaccination threshold with over 60% of the population receiving at least one dose, it will move into Step 3 of the Vermont Forward Plan more than two weeks ahead of the anticipated schedule.

Additionally, following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the governor signed an executive order lifting the state’s masking and physical distancing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals in Vermont. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final dose of your Covid-19 vaccine.

“Today marks a major step forward in our efforts to end this pandemic and get back to doing more of the things we’ve missed over the past 14 months,” said Gov. Scott. “Vermont has led the nation in many ways throughout the pandemic, including our vaccination efforts. This puts us in the best position in the nation to safely take these steps based on the CDC guidance.”

“We have been eagerly awaiting this, and know that it is based on current science, research, and data,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, M.D. “This guidance makes sense for Vermont, because as thousands more Vermonters become fully vaccinated each day, life can, and should, begin to look normal again.”

Gov. Scott emphasized that Vermonters’ commitment to getting vaccinated is critical to the state meeting its goal for lifting all remaining requirements on, or before, the 4th of July.

Following CDC guidance, masking and physical distancing for fully vaccinated Vermonters – except in limited circumstances like in schools, on public transportation, healthcare settings, long-term care facilities, prisons etc. – is no longer required. The mandate remains in place for those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, including children who are not yet eligible for a vaccine.

Consistent with previous steps forward, businesses and municipalities can implement stricter guidance if they choose.

Step 3 of the Vermont Forward plan removes the testing requirement for travel and increases event and gathering capacity restrictions.

The new gathering sizes will allow for one unvaccinated person per 50 square feet, up to 300, plus any number of vaccinated people for indoor events; and 900 people, plus any number of vaccinated people, outdoors.

State websites are currently being updated to reflect the updated guidance and acceleration of Step 3. To view the full Vermont Forward Plan, visit www.vermont.gov/vermont-forward.

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