Governor Phil Scott, Friday, July 24, announced a state mandated mask requirement in public places—inside and outside.
“Based on national and regional data on how the virus is spreading – and rather than waiting like other states have – I feel we need to act now to protect our gains, which have allowed us to reopen much of our economy,” said Gov. Scott, Friady. “That’s why today I signed an Order, which will strengthen our current mask mandates, so that we do not take steps backwards and we can stay open into the fall as people move more of their interactions indoors,” Governor Scott added.
Effective beginning Aug. 1, the amendment requires all Vermonters to wear masks or cloth facial coverings any time it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet with others from outside their household.
Those who are not required to use masks include those exercising outdoors, those under the age of 2, those with a medical or developmental condition that is complicated by a facial covering and those with difficulty breathing.
Wearing masks has proved to be among the most important actions people can do to limit the spread of Covid-19 in their communities — allowing, among other things, for the economy to reopen, remain open and grow.
“Unfortunately, this issue has become polarized and, I’m still worried that a mandate will create unnecessary conflict and resistance,” Governor Scott said. “Attacking, shaming, and judging isn’t going to help; but understanding, educating, leading by example, meeting people where they are, and maybe a little kindness and understanding will,” Governor Scott encouraged.
“For those who are not convinced yet to wear masks, I ask them to simply look at the science, look at the data and if they do they’ll certainly be convinced that it’s the right thing to do,” said Scott on Tuesday, July 28. “If we want to get the economy open, have our kids go back to school and get back to some semblance of normal, then we must wear our masks… we must protect each other, our communities… we don’t want to have to step backwards.”
Developed in consultation with the Vermont Dept. of Health, this amendment is said critical to the state’s strategy to limit the spread of Covid-19 in anticipation of K-12 and college students returning to school, as well as the fall and winter recreation seasons.