For many air travelers, Vermont rules do not apply

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 4:25 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2020 at 7:00 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A big travel day around the country slowed to a crawl in Vermont as the CDC has asked Americans to avoid travel or gather with family over fears of spreading the coronavirus. Our Ike Bendavid was at the Burlington International Airport, where many admitted to not following the quarantine rules.

Most Vermonters woke up to snow on the roads Wednesday, but for many, it didn’t matter as many people were staying put and not traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. On the interstate, travelers say they are seeing less traffic on a day that is normally busy. “Nothing. I don’t think it’s much at all, I really don’t. I don’t think many people are out at all,” said William Richardson of Alburgh.

“A lot less than usual. The day before Thanksgiving is probably one of the worst times to drive, but it was just kind of normal,” said Kevin Ryan of Bridport.

Travelers at the Burlington International Airport say it’s also been less crowded. Alyssa Lambert was traveling from Alabama to come back home to Vermont. “There was no one sitting next to anybody on the flight here from Charlotte,” she said.

“There was one stop in Detroit and no one was sitting next to me. And coming here, there was no one sitting next to me,” said Jesse Gonzalez of Texas.

Vermont has strict travel restrictions compared to other parts of the country. People flying into the state need to quarantine and then get a negative test. Some people we spoke with plan to follow the rules. “It’s very different from Alabama to here, but I have been following guidelines nonetheless. I plan to continue that,” Lambert said.

“I’m going to be in my room quarantining. My mom is going to bring me up Thanksgiving dinner, knock on the door, leave it outside,” said Kayla Nester, a returning student.

“We are going to quarantine for 14-days when we get home. Our son has already loaded the house up for us,” said Marvin Langevin of Highgate Springs.

But others say they will not be quarantining. “Today is Wednesday and I will be leaving on Monday, Gonzalez said. She says she is hanging with close friends and leaving after the weekend. She seemed not to understand the Vermont requirements. “My friends here did tell me about it so I’m not opposed to it. I telework from home right now so it’s easy to do. So, I’m not opposed to it, and I was aware.”

She was not alone. Multiple other people told us similar stories.

Vermont currently has travel restrictions in place where you must quarantine if you are arriving by plane. People arriving by car do have the option of quarantining at home before coming.

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