The state of Vermont on Tuesday suspended a program that allowed people from across the Northeast to visit the state without quarantining if they come from a county with a low rate of coronavirus infection.
Gov. Phil Scott said Tuesday that the number of counties eligible, listed on a map that uses red, orange and green to indicate eligibility, has continued to shrink.
As of Tuesday only two counties between Maine and Ohio were listed as green, from where travel to Vermont without quarantining would be permitted.
“The fact is, along with social gatherings, travel to, and from, other states without the proper quarantine continues to be one of the common denominators in our rising case counts,” Scott said at his regular Tuesday virus briefing.
Essential travel, such as work, school, medical care, personal safety, shared child custody, or buying groceries is not affected, but people should only do what they need to do and then return home.
“When you consider the amount of red in the Northeast and it’s not likely to improve for a few weeks, it only made sense to simplify the policy in order to ensure better compliance,” Scott said.
Vermont determined eligible counties as those with virus rates of less than 400 cases per million residents. While travel within the state is not restricted, as of Tuesday, only two Vermont counties — Rutland and Franklin — fell under the threshold.
Scott also urged Vermonters to follow the guidance designed to reduce the spread of the virus: Wear masks in public, limit private gatherings to 10 people or less and avoid unneeded travel.
He’s hopeful the voluntary restrictions can help stem the spread of the virus.
“It’s an ongoing effort, nothing is off the table, but certainly we want to live within the restrictions we have in place right now,” he said.
Story by Wilson Ring.