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Vt. restaurants welcome easing of restrictions

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont restaurants welcomed Governor Phil Scott’s Friday announcement easing of COVID seating restrictions. Under the new rules, restaurants can seat up to six people together from different families. The change comes about a year after Vermont restaurants were shutting down or learning how to operate under the new COVID regulations.

Warm weather brought people outside on Burlington’s Church Street Friday, and restaurants welcomed the spring preview, along with the news of changing state rules.

“It feels like a welcome change,” said Melissa Baldwin, the General manager at Leunig’s Bistro & Cafe. She welcomes getting rid of the seating rule that has been in place since November. “I am looking forward to being able to seat two couples for dinner again without having to ask all the questions.”

There was similar sentiment over at The SPOT on Shelburne Road. “We have been waiting for some new guidance on restaurants and the warmer weather coming out. We were hopeful that there would be a small change,” said the restaurant’s manager, Katlin Curtis. She says once the governor announced the changes, calls came in to reserve a table. “We actually got quite a few reservations for lunch, so we are hoping it will bring more people out.”

The announcement does not change other guidelines like capacity limits that make sure tables are at least six-feet apart.

“We feel that with the reservations, we can keep it pretty full still,” Curtis said.

“I think it’s wise to be safe and kinda turn that spigot. I think this is a great step forward towards that,” Baldwin said.

The governor said changes for bars are coming soon.

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