New rules proposed for Vermont bars, gatherings as students return

Vermont News

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The mayor of Burlington has proposed new rules for gatherings and the city’s bars to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus as college students return.

Mayor Miro Weinberger proposed that bars stop selling alcohol at 10 p.m. and to limit outdoor gatherings on residential properties to 25 people. Indoor gatherings would be restricted to 10 people, with families excluded.

Weinberger called for a special City Council meeting on Thursday to approve the emergency resolution.

Police plan to inform residents in neighborhoods around the University of Vermont of the changes, if approved. Violators could be ticketed or bars could be fined.

Weinberger said Tuesday that he hopes the regulations are only needed for a short time.

“If virus transmission levels in Burlington remain very low after both the public schools have opened and we’ve gotten through this transition of the colleges reopening and getting into the rhythm of their new testing rhythm, we will happily reevaluate the necessity of their regulations and consider lifting them,” he said.

Nearly 12,000 UVM students have decided to return to campus, said UVM President Suresh Garimella. They are being tested before they arrive and upon arrival. He said 8,700 pre-arrival tests were ordered and of the 1,150 results that have come back, two were positive. Since Aug. 7, 955 students have been tested on campus and two of those tested positive.

“These students are being pre-tested, re-tested, quarantined and if necessary isolated. All students will undergo continuous screening and testing. If they break the rules they will face consequences,” he said.

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