Burlington Police to work on ensuring safety as restrictions loosen

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The Burlington Police Department might have a busy weekend regulating public interaction after Gov. Phil Scott loosened restrictions on the state's stay-at-home order.

That announcement was made on Wednesday, May 6. It allows parks to reopen and small get-together's for friends and family. But Vermonters are still expected to follow safety guidelines for COVID-19. There is also a worry that the loosening of restrictions will mean a few people breaking state guidelines.

Burlington Deputy Police Chief Jon Murad says police will continue to monitor social gatherings and local parks over the weekend to ensure that Burlingtonians stay safe.

"The loosening of the spigot is something that was well-timed and that we can work with here in Burlington," Murad said. "We haven't had to use enforcement as a tool, instead we've been able to use education, and it's really fortunate that we have neighbors who are willing to work together like this in order to make this city as safe as it can be."

Locals we spoke say they only have minor plans for this weekend, but they are happy they'll be able to spend more time with friends and family in the coming weeks.

"We haven't made any plans to hang out with friends," said Acadia Zabriskie. "We are going to go home and see Chris' parents and my parents for Mother's Day, though."

"I think there are porch parties," said Katharine Montstream. "As long as again they keep the numbers down I think that a lot of the kids are going to get together but who knows."

Murad says that while restrictions are being lifted, it's important to remember that the pandemic is far from over, and we must continue to protect ourselves.

"We are not at the finish line yet," Murad said. "We are just in a place where we can start to loosen the spigot and have a little bit more ability to go out and live our lives in ways that aren't as impacted by this pandemic."