MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont will comply with new federal guidance and eliminate the mask mandate for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Phil Scott said Friday.
Complying with that guidance, which says those who have not been vaccinated or those whose vaccination is not yet complete should continue to wear masks, will be done on the honor system, Scott said during his regular virus briefing.
Scott is also moving up the state’s reopening plans by two weeks. Effective Friday, there will no longer be a testing requirement for travel, and capacity limits will increase for both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
“It’s time to reward all the hard work you’ve done over the past 14 months to help make Vermont’s pandemic response the best in the country,” Scott said.
The state is currently planning to lift all restrictions by July 4, and that date could be moved up if the number of people in Vermont getting vaccinated continues to increase.
Of all Vermonters aged 12 and up, 71.6% have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Of all Vermonters, 63.2% have received at least one dose, Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith said.
But Scott said his concern is that the 18- to 29-year-old age group lags in being vaccinated. The health department’s vaccine dashboard said Friday that 43% of that age group has received at least one dose.
“That’s the grouping that we see have not performed as well as they should,” Scott said. “We are still watching that.”