Vermonters react to vaccine milestone, lifted restrictions

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It’s an exciting moment for the state of Vermont. More than a year after the pandemic began, all state COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

For many Vermonters, it’s a moment they’ve been waiting for.

"Wow, we are finally going to get to enjoy our summer," said Erica Townsend of Pownal, Vermont.

Sister White of Bennington was also thrilled to hear the announcement.

"It’s amazing that everyone is vaccinated and that everything is opening up. We are truly excited," she said.

The dropped state restrictions are thanks in part to the Green Mountain State hitting a major milestone in the vaccine rollout. Eighty percent of the eligible population has received the COVID-19 vaccine.

"It is safe because Vermonters have done their part to keep the virus from spreading by stepping up to get vaccinated," Gov. Phil Scott explained.

Businesses can now choose to keep mask wearing and social distancing in place, but the state will not be mandating it. Federal COVID-19 restrictions will still apply.

However, Vermonters are happy to be getting back to the things they missed the most.

"Having everyone vaccinated and back to church has been joyful, and it’s nice to see everyone smile and be back together," said White.

For Townsend, she’s looking forward to the little things.

"I know it is not going to be the same, but it is nice to see everyone’s faces, to see people smiling," she said.

As Vermont continues to look forward, Scott says the battle with COVID-19 is far from over.

"We will continue to vaccinate as many Vermonters as we can because every shot given today, tomorrow, and the weeks to come is just as important as the ones we administered yesterday," the governor said.

Click on Sam Hesler’s report to hear more.