Vermont travel ban has teeth: Repeated non-compliance could mean fines, jail

By Guy Page

At a press conference Monday, Gov. Phil Scott and Attorney General TJ Donovan said a ban on all online booking of lodgings are absolutely necessary to limit deaths from the virus.

The ban expresses concern that visitors from hot-spot states like Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are attempting to come to Vermont.

COVID-19 NEWS: Not all states shutting down economies to fight virus

Scott, Donovan and Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling stressed repeatedly that it is their hope and expectation that everyone – Vermonters and visitors alike – fully and voluntarily comply with newly announced travel restrictions:  any visitors driving to Vermont must not leave their cars, and upon arrival must self-quarantine for 14 days; all online lodging bookings are banned. “Essential” lodgers as outlined in the ban may book by phone only.

Guy Page

This weekend, police monitored more than 300 hotels, motels and BnB’s. Of these, 88 were found to be open, and half were non-compliant. The Vermont hospitality industry can expect police to be found in parking lots monitoring visitors, officials said.

Furthermore, AG Donovan noted that if necessary – which he repeated they all hope it won’t be – fines of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to six months can be imposed. However the ban does not require Vermont police to actively stop drivers who enter Vermont from a “hot-spot” state.

Gov. Scott stressed that strenuous efforts to keep out-of-staters out of Vermont should not be pursued with an “us against them” mentality. “We’re all in this together,” he said, repeating one of his constant reminders to Vermonters. However, all Vermonters and visitors without exception must practice social distancing if Vermont is to limit the number of Covid-19 deaths and illness, he said.

In response to a question by a reporter, Gov. Scott also affirmed that the State has moved several refrigerated trucks to different parts of the state, to be used if existing mortuaries cannot accommodate the number of bodies. He said this decision was a matter of prudent planning, and not based on expectation of need.

Later this week, the governor will hold a press conference to discuss computer models of the growth rate of Covid-19 in Vermont, and when it can be expected to peak.

Bored at home? Watch Legislature on YouTube

If you’re already regretting your State of Emergency Resolution to read “Moby Dick,” you could always take a break by watching Vermont Legislature committees online.

Highlighted activities this week include:

  • S.338, reducing inmate population by decreasing probation/parole recidivism, 9 a.m. Wednesday in House Corrections & Institutions.
  • Hear how our state energy and telecommunications infrastructure is working, 11 a.m. Wednesday April 1, House Energy & Technology – live stream link not posted for the House telecommunications committee.
  • Learn more about Covid-19 emergency housing assistance and paid sick leave Wednesday 2 pm, House General, Housing & MIlitary Affairs.
  • Listen to the latest on Childcare re: Covid-19, 11 am Tuesday 3/31, House Human Services.
  • Senate Natural Resources and Energy’s “focus will remain on monitoring and responding to the COVID 19 pandemic, including in areas of jurisdiction. These impacts may include financial as well as staffing impacts across the wide array of activities [the committee] has worked on – water, solid waste, energy issues.” In particular this will include discussion of Covid-19 impact on energy efficiency programs and weatherization.

At present, only committee meetings are scheduled. Neither House nor Senate have finalized plans to meet remotely as a full body. The House resolution to meet remotely last week still requires a remote vote of three-quarters of the members. Other committees either have blank agendas, or have listed generic-sounding meetings like “Covid-19 discussion.”

Read more of Guy Page’s reports.

Image courtesy of city of Montpelier

20 thoughts on “Vermont travel ban has teeth: Repeated non-compliance could mean fines, jail

  1. They should sell seeds in the grocery section of the store instead of the Home & Garden section dry goods lol
    Of the store just a thought

  2. Why does our fine govenor say garden seeds are not neccessary? We poor people eat out of our gardens and we share and give others veggies that have no garden place. Also here in Vermont, real Vermonters always need this food to put up for the winters. I believe it’s our right to do this. I feel the govenor better tend to more important things then tell me or others here what we can buy,be it seeds, clothing or foods and things we need in our homes. It’s hard enough with this virus, without being made to feel like we are nothing. I was born in Montpelier and raised in this good state and never was this deliberately done by the state leaders to hurt us before. Thank you for allowing me this time. Never have l complained before but l am very hurt as are many others l have talked to.

  3. Saw this report on one of the morning news shows. Shows what can be done quickly. Two sites:

    British Vacuum Cleaner Firm Designs Instant-Fix Medical Ventilator

    Here’s a coronavirus story to gladden the heart: boffins at a UK-based vacuum cleaner firm have put together a working prototype for a cheap, easy-to-make ventilator to fill the massive shortage in British hospitals.
    Worcester-based Gtech was responding to the government’s challenge to businesses to see if anyone could come up in short space with a suitable design.

    ‘Pandemic ventilator’ could offer solution in potential ‘worst case’ coronavirus scenario

    With only 5,000 ventilators spread across 286 hospitals, the device could be made cheaply and easily Strupat said that while a conventional ventilator found in a hospital costs about $25,000 for one unit, his design would cost about $500 a unit and with a couple of modifications, could be mass produced.

    Leave it to the private sector to solve problems. If done in VT, wonder how much they’d be taxed….

  4. This is blown way out of proportion. Fox break down
    Of 4,080 deaths of 189,633 illnesses that’s 2.1% dying. That’s not a pandemic relative to past flu caused deaths 30K+.

    A good video:

    In VT it’s illegal Martial Law, Noted that VT allowed outsiders to come into the state, NH turned them around. Result VT 13 deaths, NH 3. Political difference.

      • I provide data with research from many sources. It’s presented as do others for “the other side” of the media drum beat. I haven’t seen much research info here to inform about alternatives. I don’t follow the pied piper.

  5. As a native Vermonter who currently lives in Delaware but returns for June and July every year leasing a cottage which is pre paid, Will we be allowed to go to the cottage and honor the 14 day quarantine or will this not be allowed because of the ban on bookings

  6. Why are our rights being taken away when we all have already been exposed to this virus all winter long? Why are no names or proof being released of those tested positive and dying from the virus? Why is mainstream and social media censoring us from the truth about what really happened in China? Why is it a lockdown shows up right after a failed impeachment? Why does our corrupt government insist on crashing our economy and putting small businesses out of business forever? Why are our taxes being used to make them rich while we struggle paycheck to paycheck? Our government, and a lot of the people, have forgotten the fact that they work for us we are not their slaves. The time for the people to take back their rights is now, before its too late

  7. Welcome to Vermont, we only want you here if your rich AND healthy, otherwise stay the F out.

    After all don’t these folks contribute to the tax base that supports the medical system.

  8. “”Was not necessity the plea of every illegal exertion of power or exercise of oppression?…Necessity is the plea for very infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” ~ William Pitt” — William Pitt

  9. We still have a Constitution, don’t we? If the police are going to conduct ‘compliance checks’, which I have no issue with, they still need to follow the law. If they’re entering private property to conduct a search, they need a warrant; otherwise the entire search is illegal.

  10. The constitutional basis for law enforcement travel ban stops is questionable, at best. I concur with the comment on Montpelier’s liberal legislators being one of the greatest threats to the Vt way of life. Chaos is indeed a fertile atmosphere for Gov. Control; always know your rights.

  11. As my deepest sympathies go out to those effected by this pandemic, and terrible situation, we have now given up our rights and civil liberties to the powers that be. What’s to say when this horrible situation is over that we are given back our guaranteed freedoms? I’m not trying to raise conspiracy theories here but,, it’s amazing that prior to this mishap, there was lots of protesting and civil unrest throughout China, France and other parts of the world. Then, The release of the virus, and everything now comes under control! It has created a tremendous opportunity for the governments to regain control over people’s lives in the name of salvation. It’s even gotten to a point where some states ( Rhode Island, Vermont…..) have employed Gestapo type tactics to seize control over personal liberty. Some places have even outlawed gun and ammunition sales during the crisis. Again this is a horrible situation, but leave it to our communist leadership to capitalize on the situation. Have we become that vulnerable and dependent upon our governments? You give an inch and they will take a mile!

  12. Typical Montpelier, ” a day late and a dollar short ” all the flatlanders from NY, NJ, CT
    to name a few states, have driven or flown back to Vermont to roost !!

    All the Spring Break, Mardi Gras crowds are back home, who knows what they returned
    with, but they had fun, no one cared about the ramifications……

    Vermont’s future, let’s see if we have a real government in Montpelier or just talking some
    talking heads, or will we continue to see agenda-driven ” Liberal ” nonsense during this
    disaster, or will we see an actual financial recovery plan for all the small businesses closed
    do to this Wuhan Virus ??

    Vermont’s real virus, it’s called Liberal Legislators !!

  13. I think youy team is doing a great job I pray that the jails don’t let the criminals out I live in Franklin county and there’s a big problem with jail birds here they don’t work the pretty on broken women and those women’s kids food money and parenting away I see it every day I know that if they are drug addicts they get out with leagal drugs that they sell for meth crack cocaine and herion and pills if the imate choose to get clean while in jail I think then the might fit the criteria but these ones that say they need the drugs no they don’t they just spent 15-36 months in a controlled facility they shouldn’t need them after a stay if that nature if they continue to use in those places think what they will do if they get out sell there drugs the get for free for one they want Rin out the steal home invade and might people please if you’re awake anyone early please please choose wisely cause it’s us the public that get terrorised thank you and please please please think about this

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