What’s next for local businesses now that the state lifted all COVID-19 restrictions after Vermont hit the 80% benchmark for people being vaccinated or having started vaccination?

Some businesses are dropping all mask requirements and trusting that people without masks are fully vaccinated. Others are not ready to move quite that quickly.



At Valley Dental in Waitsfield, people are still asked to wear masks upon arrival and they will be asked screening questions and have their temperatures checked based on their answers.

Annemarie Furey at Product Think Tank, Waitsfield, said she is posting a sign that asks people who are not vaccinated to wear a mask and also notes that her shop is small and people can request a private shopping session.

Tracy Kelly, manager of The Pitcher Inn and The Warren Store in Warren, noted that Governor Scott left the decision up to each business.

“If you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask. If you’re not, we ask that you continue to wear a mask. We don’t check people’s paperwork. It’s the honor system,” Kelly said.


Cheryl Bernard, owner of A Right Cut in Waitsfield, said that she and her shopmate Elaine Eurich, Just My Style, were going to continue to follow the masking and limited capacity at the hair salon where they share space.

“We’re going to give it until July and see how we feel then. It’s a small space and we’re inches away from our clients. We’re not totally comfortable yet, so we’ll continue masking and taking temps,” Bernard said.

Brian Lewis, owner of Toast and Eggs in Waitsfield and The Filling Station in Middlesex, said that there are no masking requirements at either of his restaurants.

Eilers Financial Services, Waitsfield, has been closed for in-person visits for most of the pandemic, according to owner Craig Eilers, but that changed when he and his two employees became fully vaccinated.


“The office is now back on its regular schedule with someone in the office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Prior to a week ago, that was hit or miss. I’d come in when I wanted to, but not to see clients, but rather, to get the mail and get out of my basement,” Eilers said.

“The biggest changes is that we’re back, but not 100%. My employees like the ability to do some of their work remotely, so at least one of us is in the office during those regular hours,” he added.

Eilers said that he and his staff are now able to have more face-to-face meetings with clients which he said is wonderful.


“One of the biggest upsets of the whole things has been Zoom meetings and how impersonal they are. It’s such a relief to be able to be in person,” he added.

At the Village Grocery, Troy Kingsbury is going to keep the plexiglass in front of the cashiers and is making masks available for those who want one but don’t have one. He is not requiring masks and his fully-vaccinated deli workers are not required to wear masks.

Contributing writer Jennie Mull, interviewed and conducted research for this article. She is a UVM student and reporter for the Community News Service, a student-powered partnership with local community newspapers.