Rep. Sibilia: Friday June 19th

Next week will hopefully be our final week before adjourning for the summer. I will be posting a comprehensive tracking of where relief funds have been spent and other adjournment pieces of legislation. Happy Father’s Day to all of the biological and stand in fathers! I hope you are able to find enjoyment this weekend.

GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT ANNOUNCES NEXT RESTART STEPS FOR HOSPITALITY SECTOR

Details include: Increased capacity size for event venues and restaurants to begin June 26, some mass transit exemptions lifted, requiring teleworker when possible, lifting pre- order requirement for farmers markets, outdoor sporting for up to 150 players and spectators, opening of pools and beaches, drive in fireworks and parade events allowed.

Updated: June 19, 2020 (Next Update: June 26, 2020) | Map of quarantine and non-quarantine counties throughout New England and New York. For update quarantine guidance, go to the Cross State Travel Section of the Vermont Agency of Commerce Website

Montpelier, Vt. – As state data and expanded testing and tracing capacity continue to support reopening, Governor Phil Scott today announced the state will raise occupancy limits for event venues, arts, culture and entertainment venues, as well as restaurants.

Beginning June 26, these venues can expand capacity for events and dining to 50% of approved occupancy size or one person per 100 square feet of customer facing space. This change will allow for indoor events of up to 75 people and outdoor organized events of up to 150. 

“We know the virus is still among us, which is why we must keep some restrictions in place to avoid significant spread of COVID-19, but I also know how devastating these restrictions have been on all businesses and especially for the hospitality sector,” said Governor Scott. “We continue to work with our public health experts as well as representatives of the hospitality sector to find ways to further open dining, events and travel without reversing the positive gains we’ve made to slow spread of this virus.”

This next step follows recent steps to ease quarantine restrictions for travelers and for Vermonters who may be returning from another state.

“We are committed to working collaboratively with these critical sectors and will continue to provide support to Vermont’s tourism and hospitality economy in its recovery,” said Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “The summer season is essential to their viability long term. We are encouraged by these reopening steps and hope to continue to find creative solutions that can increase capacity limits while keeping public health at the forefront of Vermont’s reopening.”

As with every reopen step, this move includes health and safety precautions, developed by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), Department of Health and Department of Public Safety. These precautions include, but are not limited to, distance requirements between tables, cleaning and hygiene procedures, and training and education to limit spread of COVID-19. Health and safety procedures for all sectors can be found at accd.vermont.gov.

For details on the increased capacity size for event venues and restaurants, visit https://accd.vermont.gov/news/update-new-work-safe-additions-stay-home-stay-safe-order.

ACCD has also updated its Drive-in Operation guidance (Section 5.2) to make clear firework displays can move forward with drive-in viewing options. The Administration has credited towns for their creativity in adapting some Fourth of July festivities to move forward in modified ways that follow guidance for gatherings and dining. 

For more information on:



Vermont’s Single Use Plastics Ban goes into effect July 1

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is one of five plastic accumulation sectors in our planet’s oceans and is located halfway between Hawaii and California. It is about two times the size of Texas.

In 2019 Vermont passed a law banning single use plastics. The bill, S.113, prohibits retailers from providing customers with single-use plastic bags at checkout and plastic stirrers starting July 1, 2020. After July 1, 2020, stores and food service establishments may provide paper carryout bags at check-out, for a minimum of $0.10 each. Plastic bags will be allowed in stores and food service establishments for:

  • Containing loose objects within a store:
    • Packaging loose items, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, grains, bakery goods, candy, greeting cards, or small hardware items 
    • Containing frozen foods, meat, or fish
    • Containing or wrapping flowers
  • Containing prescription medications
  • Containing laundry, dry cleaning, or other large garments
Plastic Straws
  • Food service establishments will no longer automatically provide plastic straws to customers.
  • Food service establishments may provide straws made from an alternative material.
  • Any customer may request a straw.
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities may continue providing plastic straws.
Plastic Stirrers After July 1, 2020
  • Food service establishments will no longer provide plastic stirrer sticks to customers.
  • Food service establishments may provide stirrers made from an alternative material.
Expanded Polystyrene 

After July 1, 2020, stores and food service establishments will no longer provide or sell food or beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene including: plates and cups, trays, egg cartons, take-out containers

Expanded Polystyrene is still allowed for: trays used to package uncooked meat, fish, poultry, or seafood, products packaged out-of-state, products packaged for sale out-of-state.


Utilities boost incentives to reduce home heating, energy costs
UVM basketball game was a major spreading event, VTDigger survey finds

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us 

Kind regards, 

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

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