Rep. Sibilia: May 21st update

Good evening all,

Vermont is starting to reopen, and announcements continue to come quickly and often without as much detail as we might like. The best place to hear about changes are the governor’s three times a week press conferences. On Wednesday the Governor put forward a big economic relief proposal, specifically targeting small business, tourism sector, restaurants and dairy farms. A large marketing campaign is proposed to focus on instate tourism, a signal that the return of welcoming weekend guests is still a ways off.

Below you will find information about new restaurant outdoor dining guidelines and how lodging providers can calculate occupancy. Links to the Governor’s proposal also include a series of webinars for specific sectors. A word of caution on the proposed package – the legislature will likely make some changes and need to sign off on the plan.

As we begin to adjust and modify and slowly reopen, I will be looking to continue to provide updates on changes, and a forum for folks in our district to gather and ask questions and provide feedback on the reopening.

For the past ten weeks as this emergency has unfolded, I have been trying to help folks keep up by writing email updates three times a week (52 emails total) and meeting with constituents three times a week. Starting next week I am going to try and move towards a modified email communication and forum schedule. My plan is to move towards a single weekly regular communication on Friday evenings and coffee hours on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm. If there are major announcements I will send that news out separately as I have done in the past. Thank you for all those who have participated and enriched these forums

Eager to travel outside Vermont? Here’s what you can expect in neighboring states

Scribbled notes capture early Vermont response to COVID-19 pandemic

Restaurants – Outdoor Dining (effective 5/22)

  • Reservations or call ahead seating is required.
  • Ordering via phone or electronic means is preferred.
  • Takeout service rather than table side delivery of food is preferred.
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.
  • Tables must be spaced a minimum of 10 feet apart.
  • Members of only 2 households and 10 total people may be seated at the same table.
  • Operators must limit the total number of customers served/seated at one time to 50 or their maximum licensed seating capacity, whichever is less.
  • Disposable menus are required.
  • Disposable/single use condiment packets are encouraged. Multi-use condiments and all other items for general use must be cleaned and sanitized between customers.
  • Operators must maintain an easily accessible log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department.

Calculator: Maximum Retail Occupant Load During COVID-19

Non-essential retail operations are limited to 25% of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater. Operators must post their temporary occupancy limit, and which method was used to determine it, prominently on all entrances.

To assist with the posting of this information, please refer to the Maximum Retail Occupant Load calculator and “Limited Capacity Permitted” poster.

Certificate of Compliance for Guests of Lodging, Campgrounds, and Other Accommodations

As part of the guidance to lodging, campgrounds, and other accommodations, operators may require a copy of a Vermont drivers license or a signed document from the guest(s) attesting they meet the quarantine requirement. Please note that this is a draft document (May 15, 2020), and an updated, final document will be provided prior to May 22, 2022.

Vermont Economic Recovery and Relief Package

On May 20, Governor Phil Scott announced his proposal for a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, using funds from the $1.25 billion the state received from the Federal CARES Act. The two-phase proposal will start with $310 million for immediate relief to the most impacted sectors and businesses to be followed by $90 million for long-term recovery efforts. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Governor will now work with the Legislature towards passage of this historic relief package.

The Phase 1 relief package will involve four areas of distinct action to support businesses and Vermonters as they resume their operations. They include:

  • Financial assistance: Emergency Action Grants for food and accommodation services, retail, and agriculture, Vermont Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant program, and small business focused Vermont Restart loans and grants. ($250MM)
  • Housing assistance: Rental Housing Stabilization Fund for property owners and a Re-Housing Recovery Fund to address homeless need. ($50MM)
  • Technical assistance: Restart Vermont Recovery Guides created through a network of business and community assistance providers, and Employee Assistance Program to support the mental health and wellbeing of business owners and their families. ($5MM)
  • Marketing support: Promotional marketing campaign to promote Vermont to Vermonters and deliver a toolkit of creative assets to be used by local communities, and regional marketing and consumer stimulus grants to encourage local spending, with implementation strategies to be proposed by local entities. ($5MM)

Download Full Details of the Plan

Webinar Series

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development will be hosting a series of webinars to help explain the relief and recovery package and how it will support various sectors throughout the economy. We welcome all to take part in the general or sector specific presentations over the next week.

All Sector Presentation

  • Thursday, May 21 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm
  • Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
  • +1 802-552-8456 United States, Montpelier (Toll)
    Conference ID: 675 210 591#

Restaurant Industry Presentation

  • Friday, May 22 from 11:30am – 12:15pm
  • Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
  • +1 802-828-7667 United States, Montpelier (Toll)
    Conference ID: 628 415 078#

Lodging & Tourism Industry Presentation

  • Friday, May 22 from 3:00pm – 3:45pm
  • Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
  • +1 802-828-7667 United States, Montpelier (Toll)
    Conference ID: 911 097 189#

Retail Industry Presentation

  • Tuesday, May 26 from 12:15pm – 1:00pm
  • Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
  • +1 802-828-7667 United States, Montpelier (Toll)
    Conference ID: 809 808 630#

Brewery/Distillery Presentation

  • Tuesday, May 26 from 3:00pm – 3:45pm
  • Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
  • +1 802-552-8456 United States, Montpelier (Toll)
    Conference ID: 675 210 591#

Stamford Green Up Day 50th Year!

Saturday, May 30, 2020 ~ 8:30-11:30 a.m. 

Help clean up roadside trash in Stamford. Pick up trash bags and instructions at the Stamford School from 8:30-9 a.m. 

  • Refreshments at Bag Pick Up
  • Approximately 110 bags of trash collected in Stamford by 65 people in 2019!
  • Everyone can take part – people of all ages and all walks of life.  Lots of families go out together to involve young children in learning about negative effects of littering.  


  • Wear a bright colored shirt
  • Wear durable shoes and gloves
  • Follow social distance guidelines
  • Have mask available to wear within 6’ of others
  • Green Up Day will be held rain or shine, but severe weather will postpone until May 31 

Contact: Pat Sullivan 

Green Up Vermont’s mission is to promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day and raising public awareness about the benefits of a litter-free environment.

For the official Green Up Day Vermont website, go to

Take Pride! Have Fun! Join In!

Farmers to Families Food Box Distribution – Brattleboro
May 27 @ 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Following remarks, the Governor and administration officials will be available for questions from members of the media.

Friday May 22nd at 11:00 a.m.

GENERAL PUBLIC VIEWING:Most Vermont TV and radio stations live broadcast the briefings. The Governor’s media briefing will be available to stream through ORCA Media’s youtube channel, linked here:

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or 

Kind regards, 

Rep. Laura Sibilia 
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham

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