Rep. Sibilia: Who can/can’t travel to Vermont & the Deerfield Valley and how they should behave while they are here

Hello all,

There are a lot of people from out of state in the Valley and I am getting a lot of calls and letters about it today, including from law enforcement. There seems to be some confusion that I’d like to clear up. Here are all of the known items related to who should and who should not travel in the Valley.

Edited: 3/29 and 3/30 On March 30th, Governor Scott said “If you don’t need to come to Vermont, please don’t come.” Edited again on April 17. Edited May 25th and May 29th. This page will be regularly edited for updates, but the best up to date guidance can be found at www.healthvermont.gov

First: Day trippers

The borders of the state remain open. Day trippers and weekenders – please do not come to Vermont at this time. All travelers to Vermont, including Vermonters, coming in from other states have been asked to self quarantine for 14 days.

Second: Air BnB, Short term rentals and Overnight Guests

Please see above. As of Tuesday (see Executive Orders below) there should be no new overnight vacationers in Air BnB’s, short term rentals or hotels and motels. Anyone who was in one of those types of lodging/accommodations on Tuesday should not have their stay extended. If you rented an Air BnB after Tuesday, the person who rented it to you is breaking the law by violating an Executive Order unless the reason you are here is work related to the Vermont emergency. The subcontractors who cleaned that apartment for your arrival, are likely breaking the law by violating the Executive Order for non-essential workers. Vacationers and AirBnB guests please do not come to Vermont at this time. It is a violation of the governors executive order to accept non essential guests at any short term rentals or other lodging properties. Everyone entering Vermont from another state or country has been asked to self quarantine for 14 days. Updated April 10 – short term lodging reservations can be taken for dates after June 1, 2020. Updated May 25th – Vermonters and out of state visitors who have quarantined for 14 days prior to their stay at a lodging property may stay at lodging properties in Vermont.

Third: Second homeowners

On March 30th Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Schirling said “All first and second homeowners are a part of the Vermont Family.” We love you. Please do not come without supplies. Please behave as if you are infected with the virus. That means self isolating and social distancing. Please understand you are here living under the same Executive Orders that your scared friends the year round Vermonters are living under. Second homeowners you can come to your home in Vermont, but the Governor has requested that you self-quarantine for 14 days when entering Vermont from another state or country. That means coming and going on the weekends is a violation of the executive order because you are unable to quarantine for 14 days.

Fourth: Year Round Residents

We Want To Hear From You Clipart

You are not being ignored.

  1. Mount Snow shut down on March 14th – long before they were required to.
  2. On March 15th, State Legislators from every ski resort town in Vermont began communicating with each other and with the Governors staff about the possibility for unexpected population levels due to second homeowners arriving to shelter in Vermont.
  3. The number one non winter activity in the Deerfield Valley is hiking – because we have so many trails everywhere including on public lands. Hiking is legal and also encouraged with proper social distancing.
  4. Vermont has issued orders to close restaurants and bars and provide takeout only.
  5. Vermont has an order limiting the number of people that can congregate at 25
  6. On Sunday March 22nd, during a public Joint Rules call listened to by hundreds, Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson repeatedly pressed Vermont’s Emergency Management Director Erika Borneman on the question of whether or not they were factoring into healthcare planning the possibility of increased populations in resort areas.
  7. On Tuesday March 24th, Governor Scott ordered short term rentals to close and gave guidance about not extending guests.
  8. On Wednesday Vermont Senator Leahy stated publicly “I wish people would stay away. I do. Usually, I’m like, come to Vermont. Spend your money right now. I agree. Stay away. I know when we have the snowfall here, a few days ago, uh, there were snowmobilers wanting to come from other states, Massachusetts, Connecticut and elsewhere. They were told to stay away. Uh, we love to see, but not now, and that’s going to hurt our businesses that rely on it, but we have to do it. I’ll try to make up the money to help these small businesses.”
  9. On Monday March 30th Governor Scott issued an executive order that everyone – including Vermonters) must self-quarantine for 14 days when entering Vermont from another state or country. This does not apply to essential workers who must travel over the state border to their job in Vermont.
  10. In some of our towns, there are four second homes for every one year round home. In the towns with lots of second homeowners, that is a large part of both why we need and how we pay for our police force, fire fighters and rescue.
  11. We have traveling nurses and doctors, FEMA, military and other workers associated with recovery who have traveled here. Don’t assume you know what is going on with every out of state plate. I’m sure my daughter’s Vermont license plate sticks out in GA where she is stationed as an Army nurse.
  12. Ski area legislators are continually communicating with each other and Governor Scott’s team about the increased population.
  13. The virus is already here locally. We are not keeping it from coming here. You should be interacting with grocery store and gas station attendants as if you are already infected.

Governor Phil Scott Executive Orders

Number 01-20 declaring a State of Emergency in Vermont & National Guard Call Out
ADDENDUM 1 to 01-20 prohibits all non-essential mass gatherings to the lesser of fifty (50) people or fifty percent (50%) of the occupancy of a facility
ADDENDUM 2 to 01-20 Prohibits on-premises consumption of food or drink
ADDENDUM 3 to 01-20 Suspension of all Non-Essential Adult Elective Surgery and Medical and Surgical Procedures
ADDENDUM 4 to 01-20 Closure of Close-Contact Businesses and Further Restrictions of the Size of Mass Gatherings
ADDENDUM 5 to 01-20 Work from Home Order
ADDENDUM 6 to 01-20 Stay Home to Stay Safe Order
ADDENDUM 7 to 01-20 Requirement to quarantine
ADDENDUM 8 to 01-20 Non-Congregate Sheltering in Vermont; Extension of Certain Deadlines Relating to Closures of DMV and Bars and Restaurants
ADDENDUM 9 to 01-20 Extension of State of Emergency Declared March 13, 2020; Other COVID-19 Related Directives and Clarifications
ADDENDUM 10 to 01-20 Work Smart & Stay Safe – Restart VT: Phase I
ADDENDUM 11 to 01-20 Work Smart & Stay Safe –Restart VT: Phase II
ADDENDUM 12 to 01-20 Work Smart & Stay Safe -Restart VT: Phase III
ADDENDUM 13 to 01-20 Play Smart and Play Safe: Restart Phase V
ADDENDUM 14 to 01-20 Be Smart, Stay Safe



Directives
Directive 1 – Continuity of Education Planning.pdf
Directive 2 – Childcare For Essential Service Providers.pdf
Directive 3 – Department of Motor Vehicles Suspension of In-Person Transactions.pdf
Directive 4 – Department of Liquor and Lottery – Delivery and Take-Out of Beverage Alcohol – Amended March 20, 2020.pdf
Directive 5 – Continuity of Learning Planning .pdf

31 thoughts on “Rep. Sibilia: Who can/can’t travel to Vermont & the Deerfield Valley and how they should behave while they are here

  1. Laurie Johnson

    You should not be encouraging people to go hiking! Have you seen the videos people have taken driving by these places there are literally hundreds of cars!! Its like all the coastal areas having to close there beaches! It’s crazy, it’s insane! Shut these trails down! Now! Please

    People obviously can not be left to use there own judgement. Too many have NO common sense!

    Agree with everything thing else you stated.

    Thank you
    Laurie Johnson

    1. Angela Yakovleff

      My husband and I are full time residents. We have hiked various trails every day for the past ten days. At no time did we see more than four other people on the trails, all respectful and well distanced. We saw far more people walking downtown going to the post office, the grocery store, the pharmacy. The trails need to be open for residents well being.

    2. renee vondle

      i think it’s time for all the take home and drive through meals and ice cream to stop. i told the governor and attorney general the same thing. ice cream, dunkin’ donuts and mcdonald’s are not essential. truck drivers can pack a sandwich and thermos of coffee and relieve themselves in the woods. we are vermonters. all others…eat at home!

      1. Duff Boyd

        You must not know much about truck driving. You want them to pack a sandwich, most of these people are hundreds of miles from their homes and families to make sure you dont run out of food at the store you shop at. And pee in the woods you say? What is you’re malfunction?? If these truckers cant get food and supplies to keep going guess what happens…. you’re store is empty. No food, no toilet paper, no gas for you’re car, EVERYTHING comes on a truck!! I thank every truck driver I see and would never repay the sacrifice they are making by closing off their food chain and having them going to the bathroom in the woods🙄. I applaud the restaurants who are bringing these people out food to them in their trucks to keep them going to help all of us out. There are a few that will give them their meal for free.

  2. Duff Boyd

    Thank you for helping voice our opinions. Something needs to be done!! The traffic coming into the valley is more than just regular ski traffic and it getting out of hand. We as Wilmington residents are doing all we can but are bombarded by the travelers. Any other time we all welcome them and do our best to make sure their stay is the best it can be… this is not the time!!! They are making all of us who are trying to curb the virus efforts none essential!! If youre state says stay home, dont come here for the weekend!!!

  3. Ted (Charles) Blackburn

    Laura , my wife grew up in Wilmington.We have owned our home there since 1982 and were permanent residents for 6yrs serving on a few boards and Deerfield Valley Rescue.
    We spend five months a year in Wilmington and the rest of the year in Florida.
    I certainly understand how and why the people in Vermont don’t want outsiders coming in ,and my wife and I fully intend to support those wishes.
    But I’m wondering why we should pay any Vermont tax if we can’t come to our home.
    Discrimination in any form is always difficult.We accept the concern of Vermont citizens and will act accordingly;I for one would hope they return the favor wit us.

    1. Hi Ted,

      Thanks for your thoughtful note and consideration. You absolutely can come to your home. I hope that was not misunderstood. I want folks with second homes to know about the increasing anxiety of locals and have access to the executive orders that year round folks are having to respect. I have not been out and driving for 4 days, but the amount of calls I received yesterday about the number of folks gathering and not respecting those orders, including from the police, felt like a clarification would be helpful for everyone. These are difficult times for all of us no matter where we live – I hope you and your family are well wherever you have chosen to ride this out.

    2. Sharon Adams

      I don’t believe VT can keep you from your second home, but are discouraging traveling, as you may pick up the virus on your way & bring it into the valley.

    3. Elizabeth Warner

      Hi Ted, we welcome you and simply ask for you and yours to respect social distancing/ quarantine recommendations . That is how I read this. Our medical systems are very limited. Stay safe and healthy. Enjoy Vermont.

    4. B. Wallace

      It’s not just about you being at your VT house. It’s the possibility of you catching the virus on your way to VT, then needing to use the local medical facilities in VT. You might already have, but don’t know, or might catch the virus in your travels, and spread it to more people. Driving up you have to make food, bathroom and fuel stops. Each time you get out of your car, you risk catching or spreading the virus. It’s the concept of just stay home, where you are now, until less people are getting sick. I grew up in VT, lived 30 years in MA, owned a second house in VT for 10 years, now I live full time in VT. In the face of this virus, a second house doesn’t give you free passage because you pay taxes. These are unusual and dangerous times. Please understand. Did you hear about all the spring break college kids who went to FLA, caught the virus and spread it far and wide in the country? They shouldn’t have gone to FLA. Cape cod & the islands are telling people who own second homes there, the same exact thing. They don’t want extra people to spread the virus to those places. Sorry to be so blunt, but please understand there are good reasons to stay inside the home you’re in right now.
      Peace be with you.

  4. Lesly levy

    We are second homeowners and came up here over two weeks ago from nyc. We had no idea we would be staying this long and have been socially distancing (with the exception of hiking for our well being and going to the grocery store-not to hoard but to survive). We are respectful. I understand that you are coming at us from a place of fear. We too are afraid. What should we do? Go back to nyc -the epicenter? Aren’t we all Americans living in America? I know you are afraid but what happened to helping your fellow man. We did our two week quarantine – if everyone else abides by that then we will all be fine. It’s those who party and think they are immune to this that ruin it for the rest of us. Please do not lump everyone in the same boat. I have been coming here for 30 years and always felt welcome and part of a community (like I had a home here) until now. I even thought at one point that We might retire here. Not sure now.

    1. Lesly,

      Thank you for all you are doing to respect the orders year round residents are under. We are all Americans and you have a right to be at your second home. Thank you for self isolating and social distancing and doing that for two weeks. I can not imagine, nor am I asking your family to go back to NYC. Be well and stay safe

    2. Tom Canfield

      Hi Lesly,

      Very well said. I’m a second homeowner who has been coming to Vermont for years and has always felt welcome until now. It amazes me that people say “we are all in this together” until fear creeps in. Then suddenly it’s every person for themselves. In Dover, 3 out of 4 cars have out of state plates, yet I don’t see large crowds anyplace. I took the dogs for a hike and passed two other small groups in the course of an hour . . . and got close to neither. The vast majority of people are taking this seriously and doing their part to stay isolated. We don’t need to treat each other with such disrespect. It’s sad to see how quickly people shift to thinking only of themselves.

  5. Carolyn

    Laura,
    I am a second homeowner who came here for the last week because I have no heat or hot water in my CT home. I have abided by all the social distancing rules and I assume everyone else that’s comes from out of state is doing the same. I would never want to be responsible for making anyone sick. I hiked up Mount Snow for the last two days and encountered people snowshoeing and skiers who climb the mountain and ski down. No coronavirus at the top of the mountain. Everyone is friendly and relaxed. Not so at the grocery store. I felt the anger from other shoppers that I was there buying food. People stayed much more than 6 feet away from me. It was weird and uncomfortable to be there. We’re leaving Monday.

    1. Carolyn, thanks for your note and following the rules. Im sorry to hear you didn’t have heat and hot water at your CT home. I have also had year round residents tell me it is comfortable in the grocery store, that you can feel the emotion. I have not been in to the local Shaw’s. People do not behave at their best when they are afraid. My note should not be seen as a suggestion to leave your home in Vermont. I hope your family remains healthy and well, and please be in touch if I can assist while you are in Vermont.

  6. Lesly levy

    Laura
    Oddly enough my post disappeared. So here is a second comment. Hmmm

    I too am a second homeowner and have been for 30 years. I have patronized businesses here, skied here every weekend and practically raised my children here. I pay taxes. I u defat and that those who live here year round are fearful. I am afraid too. I came here over two weeks ago from nyc and we isolated (with the exception of groceries and an occasional hike) and observed social distancing. Aren’t we all Americans? Shouldn’t we be more accepting? Should I go back to nyc – the epicenter and take my chances? I always felt a home here. Not so much now. We have been responsible. I am very saddened by all of this.

      1. LeSly levy

        Thank you Laura for your reply. I replied as I was hoping to calm fears and appeal to humanity. I wonder what can be done to help calm the fears of those who live here year round?

  7. Linda Kersten

    Hi Laura, As usual you are doing a great job. Thank you for the updates. You are facing a hopeless task trying to address the fear. The fear is irrational. If guidelines regarding distancing and hand washing and staying indoors were followed, there would be little or no fear.
    Part of our legitimate fear in Vermont is the lack of testing for the general population. I think we can safely assume that many more cases of CORVID 19 exist but without a doctors note, no one gets tested. We then look at NY/NJ/CT where testing occurs in a greater population and see their numbers and want to keep them away. I suggest that our own backyard is kind of contaminated, too and it’s not from the folks who want to come stay in their vacation homes. Vermont is following the sad example of the federal government in delaying testing for all and we are behind the curve.
    Now, walking the trails is a good. I have been out walking and I am noticing far more folks out there, too. All are respectful- I even had a family walk in the road to stay away from me. When I go for a walk, I want to see the people out there; I want the ability to say hello and maybe even get a quick comment about the weather in before we are out of earshot. It makes me feel human. It boosts my moral and gets me ready for some more hours alone.
    Although I have lived in Vermont for 45 years, I do not forget the great emotional joy I used to get coming to my VT vacation home before moving up here permanently. There is a way of life here that is special. There is a sense of everyone coming together to solve our problems like we did for Hurricane Irene. This should not be spoiled by folks who fear or resent or even hate visitors. Face it, there has always been that element present from the simple epithet ‘flatlanders’ to worse. That is human nature. Now however there is the excuse of CORVID19 to latch onto making it easier and more acceptable for the nastiness to surface over a larger portion of the population. I sincerely hope that my fellow Vermonters can find it in their hearts to empathize with the second homeowners who are also looking for the peace and beauty of Vermont.

    1. Angel Balch

      This is a totally different animal..not a hurricane or a flood. Our community has always welcomed second home owners. They are the lifeblood of our economy, and many are very good friends. In this case though, the situation is quite different. While I can totally empathize with the need to escape to Vermont, this has further reaching implications for our community. We have an elderly population, limited health and first responder resources, and every state has a STAY AT HOME order to reduce spread of the virus. Those who own cleaning services in the valley are being asked to come into visitors homes and condominiums. Grocery store aisles are still void of many products, and not everyone who is visiting is adhering to the 6 foot rule or practicing precautionary habits. So yes, we should welcome our visitors…but just not at this time.

  8. Cynthia Musto

    This is the first time I have heard helpful or any Vermont information from elected officials. Except you want us all to have more gun laws. This was informative and refreshing.
    I did feel it was “inappropriate” of you to tell someone that coming to Vermont as a day hiker is legal but “inappropriate”
    If it is not safe for them or us to do so, Either it is or it isn’t say so. Or add a guideline.
    But saying it is legal but inappropriate? Kind of like saying “if you are respectful and responsible stay home and if you aren’t come on up”

  9. Mary

    With several recent impending orders, MA Gov. Baker gave a day or more heads up. I wish we had gotten one only so that we could travel to our VT second home and retrieve things we thought we would have access to again. This was not entirely unanticipated, but we thought there would be a greater period for planning; we have medication we need to get but cannot then stay in VT for 14 days. Are there any discussions about that issue?

  10. Faith the Nurse

    Glad some takeout restaurants are still open or there would be nothing for travel nurses like me to eat when we come out of the hospital at 730 or 8pm, head home to bed, to get up again the next day at 530. It’s wonderful to be able to get a quick sandwich between work, bed, and work. All I do is work and go home and get the essentials at the grocery or gas station on my day off. And believe me I know my out of state plate gets looks at. Sorry, folks, just here helping out.

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