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Vermont travel restrictions

#1
Does anyone have thoughts on VT travel restrictions for this season and whether they will remain the same through winter and how that has affected your own long term ski planning? We are holding off on buying Ikon/EPIC this year bc we live outside of VT; and though we have very few current covid cases in our bucolic little town, we live 30 minutes from Hartford. Vermont's DPH county calculation lumps us in together requiring us to quarantine. (Ironically, if we lived a few miles west where there is a huge covid hotspot, we could travel to VT without quarantine because their county data is more favorable overall.) I have read many articles about VT skiing operations this season, but relatively few address the impact of travel restrictions.

We know people from down here who have bought their passes and booked their season house rentals and they don't seem too concerned about the restrictions. A few friends who own houses in VT, but don't reside there, say they have heard that restrictions will be changed by winter (which seems counter intuitive if we think cases will rise in winter as projected). Even a few friends who are VT residents seem perplexed that we haven't bought our passes. They are traveling all over for vacations without a care and wondering why we aren't doing the same. Various non-diva ski forums have loads of questions from out of staters on where to book this season in VT. There are a lot of mixed messages in all of this.

What is a rule-following skier and her family of skiers to do during this time? I am curious as to whether this has affected other people's multi-pass purchasing this season.

Side note, we do have a small, local ski hill a few minutes away for which we also usually get passes. But they haven't adequately addressed their plans for operating during this time, other than to say they plan to open and run all of their programs and they will refund or carryover your pass if they never open due to covid. No word on capacity limits or how this works for ski team or what happens to your pass if they close after two weeks due to covid. I am sure the financial impact is killing these places so I am being patient with the little guys.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#2
As a Vermont resident, I thank you both for paying attention and playing by the rules. Too many people just ignore them and do whatever they like without giving any thought to the potential results, and it drives me crazy.

Vermont has been very lucky. The infection rate is low. We've only had 58 deaths total (none since mid-July). and as of today, just 1,656 reported cases. (You can view the state's COVID dashboard here.) Obviously, we'd like things to get better. The ski and tourist industries are very important to the state, but as much as I worry about about their ability to remain viable — and as much as I'd like to be able to ski, myself — I worry about what's going to happen when tons of people from areas with higher infection rates converge on the state this winter.

What's ahead is anyone's guess. We can only hope that things will improve, and Vermont has indeed loosened some travel restrictions for a number of counties in surrounding states. That said, the Director of the CDC has predicted a big surge of the virus in the fall and winter, which to me is really, really frightening. However, we can only move ahead based on current information, and right now, the Vermont Department of Health has the following restrictions in place:

Out-of-state residents travelling to Vermont should review the current cross state travel information.

• If you are coming from an area with <400 active cases/million residents, you can travel to and from Vermont without quarantine requirements. Residents from these non-quarantine areas must travel directly to Vermont in their personal vehicle.

• If you are coming to Vermont from outside of one of those areas, as long as you travel directly to Vermont in your personal vehicle, you can complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in your home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions.

• If you are coming to Vermont from outside one of those areas, and either taking public transportation like a bus, train, or plane, or are driving and would need to stop along the way, then you will need to complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test when you arrive in a Vermont at either a lodging establishment or with friends or family.

• If you will be staying at a commercial lodging property, you’ll be required to complete a certificate of compliance.

• All out of state travelers are strongly encouraged to register with Sara Alert upon arrival to Vermont to get two weeks of daily reminders to check for common symptoms of COVID-19.

• 8 of Vermont's rest areas are open with limited access. Access to interior restrooms are open from 10:00am - 6:00pm, 7 days per week. Travelers are required to wear a mask when inside the building. Other rest areas that remain closed will have portable toilets available.

Good luck figuring it out.
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ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#3
BTW, my daughter lives in the Hartford, CT, area and skis at Butternut, which does have a pass protection policy. You can find it here.
 

Soujan

Angel Diva
#4
I renewed my Ikon pass for this season. I'm on Long Island, NY. We mostly ski in Vermont. If we are unable to travel to Vermont, I will most likely defer my Ikon pass to 2021/2022 season. If I can't leave my state to ski, maybe I'll get the Whiteface Empire Card. Windham also offers discount tickets to first responders.
 
#5
They are traveling all over for vacations without a care and wondering why we aren't doing the same.
Yes, and they've been coming to Florida! :rolleyes:

Friend just left and is driving to her newly purchased home in Stowe. She traded in her PA residency for VT just in time.
 
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#6
I have an IKON pass but also got the Gore/Whiteface/Bellayre pass. Just in case travel is restricted and with the reservation system getting on the Mt. may prove daunting. I will defer my pass if I can't travel.

Here in Upstate NY seems the quarantine is useless- as a Real Estate broker I've met people from all over the country and world. My worst was family from Europe bringing daughters to US Schools- they spent their 2wks quarantining by travelling ALL over the North country looking at lake houses! OMG!! and he had a cough!!! Everyone has to wear masks but still scary. On showings I don't let buyers touch door knobs or anything. I stand UP wind from them outside. while I'm mandated to have buyers fill out a covid questionnaire most just sign and don't read it- so what good is that? they just want to see the house.

I live in a 'resort' area the VRBO's are chock full of out of state license plates from States that are mandatory quarantine- As noted above seems they don't- they are out at the stores and restaurants.

Our only cases were in the local nursing home (15miles from me) where our Gov. mandated they take in covid positive with no quarantine in place. 268 died including employees! So sad. We all have been extra cautious so no outbreaks anywhere else near me. I do have out of town clients who have lost their spouses (from NYC) and some have had it- they said you don't want it. I've met some that had it and just had the cough said it was no big deal- lucky for them. All we can do is stay vigilant to stay safe.
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#7
When I move to Vermont for winters I usually go home for Christmas. This year it will be a wait and see basis. I just tested negative but that won’t help me when it comes time to move up! I may try and get in earlier but that is still up in the air as well. No good answers!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#8
When Quebec was in lock down, you couldn't even drive into the province. And driving around the province entailed a letter of permission. Now they only covered the major driving routes, but no one was getting in with Ontario plates. And some Quebecers were having issues getting out. We had a delivery delayed 2 days because the driver wasn't allowed out. And he was from Quebec, doing his job.

The Maritimes still have 14 day quarantine. So no travelling to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI or Newfoundland/Labrador. Not sure if they are catching you as you enter the province of not. One of my cottage neighbours had to go to PEI to close a business. I'll have to ask him how it was handled.

So no one in authority is questioning out of state vehicles? I know the CBSA and RCMP are here!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#9
So no one in authority is questioning out of state vehicles? I know the CBSA and RCMP are here!
It's fair to say that different countries are approaching COVID-19 travel restrictions very differently.

In Melbourne in Australia, the current lock down restrictions require people to stay within 5km (~3 miles) of their homes. Police are actively stopping people on major roads in/out of the state of Victoria.

What NY and New England states are doing is very different that the rest of the U.S. NM and Hawaii also have travel restrictions. It's very confusing.
 
#10
So no one in authority is questioning out of state vehicles? I know the CBSA and RCMP are here!
At one point RI would pull over out of state cars from their southern entry point to find out where they were going and to tell you to quarantine if you were not just passing through (this was to deal with NYers initially because many fled to their summer beach homes in RI). I never had any issue with this driving to RI with a MA plate from the northern border at that time though for example. Now this stuff is more designated for people arriving on planes and trains for RI and MA, but not pulling over vehicles or anything. I think in NY they are concentrating on larger transportation modes too? But no, no one is not allowed to drive from state to state technically. There would be (and was with some policies previously) a major uproar if interstate travel is hindered because state governors do not have the authority to make such restrictions and not allow you in. You are supposed to comply with the restrictions in place if you go, but they can't technically keep you out altogether in the US. At least that's my understanding, there was a LOT of discussion locally around this early on.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Our Premier is livid today. The police have been in contact with 600+ people that are not quarantining as per the emergency orders. They have not been issued fines or court orders or arrested (lot of good that would do). They can be fined. He's upset that the Health officials and/or Police are not issuing the fines. The RCMP are doing it in Alberta and BC. That's Americans that are supposed to be traveling to or from Alaska. Now they get a window sticker and a date to leave by.

The big thing that is different is that our Provinces are so big...so it's odd to see anything but an Ontario plate. Or at this end of the province at least a few Quebec ones.
 
#12
Yes, we Quebeckers can now cross to Ontario (and vice-versa) - I visited kids last weekend and certainly didn't hear any comments about my out-of-province plates. Friends are planning a trip to les Iles de la Madeleine (the Magdalen Islands - part of Quebec but way out in the Gulf of St. Lawrence - and as an aside, a wonderful wonderful place to visit when travel is again allowed). Problem is unless you fly the only way there is by car is through New Brunswick, then to Prince Edward Island and the ferry. Apparently they are allowed to stop for gas, but that's it between the Quebec border and the ferry on the far end of PEI. Yikes - that's a long drive and not one I would want to have to do non-stop!
 

Skivt2

Certified Ski Diva
#13
The whole thing in VT vs CT is absurd. CT is one of the best states in the country for Covid and VT still wants the entire state of CT to quarantine. Vermont has a weird formula for estimating cases and it’s not real. So I think they are way overestimating cases here. see map below.

0A7AFE50-334C-4B71-999E-4861C8FDBBE2.jpeg
 
#14
The whole thing in VT vs CT is absurd. CT is one of the best states in the country for Covid and VT still wants the entire state of CT to quarantine. Vermont has a weird formula for estimating cases and it’s not real. So I think they are way overestimating cases here. see map below.

View attachment 13593
Same with Maine for those of us in MA, frustrating. Our governor was asked about it this week in a press conference and he was super exasperated. Can’t figure out why ME refuses to budge on restrictions for us.
 
#15
The whole thing in VT vs CT is absurd. CT is one of the best states in the country for Covid and VT still wants the entire state of CT to quarantine. Vermont has a weird formula for estimating cases and it’s not real. So I think they are way overestimating cases here. see map below.
I’m not sure what you mean by the VT vs. CT thing? CT is expected to follow the same guidelines/restrictions as the rest of New England (and other states that have been added to the list).

While I do think their formula is a bit on the strict side, I like that they are black and white with their rules, and everybody is restricted based on the same formula.
 

Skivt2

Certified Ski Diva
#16
I’m not sure what you mean by the VT vs. CT thing? CT is expected to follow the same guidelines/restrictions as the rest of New England (and other states that have been added to the list).

While I do think their formula is a bit on the strict side, I like that they are black and white with their rules, and everybody is restricted based on the same formula.
Look at the map I posted. VT and CT are the only two states in the country meeting the 4 requirements for virus control. It should be fine for people in CT to go to VT. Those of us in CT are penalized by having small cities In our counties. I don’t go anywhere. I have worked from home since March. I’m paying thousands of dollars for an apartment in VT I have not been to since 4/1. Come winter, I am going there like it or not, quarantine or not. And I am no threat to anyone in VT because I do not socialize, I do not go inside buildings with other people not in my household, I don’t even grocery shop. Everything is delivered. The ski area is my backyard and I will hike and ski in my backyard. I don’t need a base lodge because I am trail side. I would like someone to explain to me how my driving to my apartment and not leaving there except to hike or ski in my backyard with a mask on is a threat.

Vermont is not basing their quarantine on active cases. They are basing it on estimated active cases using a projection that includes undetected cases. It’s hogwash.

https://hlc-hlc21901.s3-us-west-2.a...te Paper OW Pandemic Navigator Core Model.pdf
 
#17
Vermont is not basing their quarantine on active cases. They are basing it on estimated active cases using a projection that includes undetected cases. It’s hogwash.

https://hlc-hlc21901.s3-us-west-2.a...te Paper OW Pandemic Navigator Core Model.pdf
All I was saying was it’s not a CT vs. VT thing, they are judging everyone the same, based on the same stats. I’m not sure what the paper is that you linked to here? Here’s Vermont’s explaination of their system, which sounds like its all based off of John Hopkins numbers.

https://dfr.vermont.gov/sites/finreg/files/doc_library/dfr-travel-map-methodology-071620.pdf

A lot of locations are being judged based on the small cities in their counties. My county is currently not allowed in Vermont due to a small outbreak at a major college in my county. (Big surprise...)

Personally, I think if you can be responsible and be 110% sure you’re not bringing the virus to another community, and won’t be taking it home (exactly what it sounds like you’d be doing), then I’m all for the travel. Vermont allows a 14 day quarantine at home. So if you’re not going anywhere nor seeing anyone for that timeframe...you’re actually complying with their regulations too.
 
#18
Look at the map I posted. VT and CT are the only two states in the country meeting the 4 requirements for virus control. It should be fine for people in CT to go to VT. Those of us in CT are penalized by having small cities In our counties. I don’t go anywhere. I have worked from home since March. I’m paying thousands of dollars for an apartment in VT I have not been to since 4/1. Come winter, I am going there like it or not, quarantine or not. And I am no threat to anyone in VT because I do not socialize, I do not go inside buildings with other people not in my household, I don’t even grocery shop. Everything is delivered. The ski area is my backyard and I will hike and ski in my backyard. I don’t need a base lodge because I am trail side. I would like someone to explain to me how my driving to my apartment and not leaving there except to hike or ski in my backyard with a mask on is a threat.

Vermont is not basing their quarantine on active cases. They are basing it on estimated active cases using a projection that includes undetected cases. It’s hogwash.

https://hlc-hlc21901.s3-us-west-2.a...te Paper OW Pandemic Navigator Core Model.pdf

100% support this as well. As long as you’re being responsible I don’t see a problem. Plus, working from home you can easily “quarantine“ ahead of going up anyway. Any chance you could just stay up in VT for longer stints since you are working from home too? That’d be an added bonus.
 

Skivt2

Certified Ski Diva
#19
My husband and I have an apartment in Vermont because we are in the process of moving there but can’t move yet because he is in school. He has lab once a week in person therefore we have to go back and forth. We generally sleep in Vermont 170 nights a year before this so just shy of residency. He wears an N-95 mask to lab and it's socially distanced With only 9 students in a large classroom. Otherwise his program is virtual. If we changed residency to VT he could travel to CT once a week without quarantine under the essential travel provision but he’d lose his instate tuition. Some of us are pretty seriously effected by this ridiculous quarantine. CT is really safe and should not have to quarantine when going to VT. Neither should many of the other counties in New England. Or maybe It should be by town instead of county. My rural town has not even had a cumulative 400 cases per 100,000 the whole time That’s cumulative not active at one time. The link I posted was from Vermont’s web site where they describe the methodology they use to estimate active cases by projecting how many active cases there are including unreported (?). It’s extreme. I’m enough part of my Vermont community enough to know that tons of people are ignoring the quarantine. With so many ignoring it and infection rates not going up I really question the point of the quarantine. All it is doing is punishing people who believe in following rules. As much as it pains me, I will be breaking the rules soon myself unless they are changed. Personally I think all short term rentals should still be shut down and no indoor dining should be allowed if you really want to control this thing. Instead of punishing part time residents with a huge financial steak in property in VT whether owned or rented. I understand curtailing recreational travel for tourists but some of us that are locked out are not tourists.
 
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#20
I guess my question to @Skivt2 is: what incentive does the state of Vermont have to change the rules to accommodate your situation? The rules are already designed to accommodate those who quarantine at home (doing everything “right”) before coming to Vermont. Why would Vermont change its rules to allow easier travel and more voluminous out of state contacts?

I understand that there are rule breakers visiting our state. They are not welcome. I have canceled an out of state vacation the night before due to case counts changing and haven’t seen my Massachusetts based family since January.

I’m happy to hear Connecticut is doing well. Vermont’s cumulative case count is 1684 or approximately 270 out of 100,000. Only 28 out of its 255 towns have had ten or more COVID cases (my town is among the over 200 that have had fewer than 5). I’m sure you can understand why the locals are protective of the state.
 

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