Vermont Issues Updated Small Business Guidance

Date: March 24, 2021

Relaxed Guidelines for Small Business Begins March 24th


Here are the latest regulations for small business owners in Vermont:


  • Occupancy & Seating
  • Restaurants, catering, food service, bars and clubs may allow 50 percent of fire safety occupancy or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors or their maximum licensed seating capacity, whichever is less.
  • Seating must be available for all patrons and seating must allow for physical distancing of at least 6 feet between seated parties. No standing or mingling is allowed. Customers must be seated while consuming food or beverages.
  • Restaurants, bars and clubs may seat multiple households at the same table, but no more than six people can be seated at the same table.
  • Bar seating may only be open if a physical barrier, such as a piece of plexiglass, separates the patrons from bartenders and the drink preparation area. Patrons of different households must be at least six feet apart.
  • A counter area, such as a lunch counter or diner counter, may be open if there is at least six feet between customers and six feet between the customer and any waitstaff and no food or beverage production or storage occurs at the counter.
  • Reservations or call ahead seating is preferred. Reservations should be staggered to prevent congregating in waiting areas. Waiting areas must accommodate physical distancing.
  • All in-person service at restaurants, bars and clubs must stop table service at 10pm. Take out or curbside service is allowed after 10 pm.
  • Restaurants, bars and clubs must maintain an easily accessible, legible log of all employees, customers, members and guests and their contact information, including name, address, phone number and email address for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by VDH. For the sake of clarity, this requirement applies to all employees and all guests in every party. All customers opting to dine-in must be logged. Take out customers who do not dine in the establishment do not need to be logged.
  • Consider using rolled silverware and eliminating table presets. Disposable/single use condiment packets are encouraged. Multi-use condiments and all other items for general use must be cleaned and sanitized between customers.
  • Use of shared food service (buffet style) and self-serve utensils, plates or napkins, are prohibited. However, a staffed banquet style buffet may occur if serving lines can accommodate physical distancing.
  • Customers are required to wear face coverings when not eating.
  • Restrooms should be monitored and routinely cleaned and soap dispensers regularly filled. 
  • Disinfect all front-of-house surfaces including door handles, screens, phones, pens, keyboards; as well as tables, chairs and other areas of high hand contact frequently. 
  • Licensed caterers and licensed manufacturers may follow this guidance for either outdoor or indoor Catering Event Permits and Special Event Permits in compliance with all Department of Liquor and Lottery permitting and license requirements. However, effective at 10 p.m., November 14, 2020, these businesses shall not serve public or private social, recreational and entertainment gatherings until further notice.
  • Live entertainment that requires the rapid expulsion of air from an individual, including singing and playing certain musical instruments, has been linked to the spread of the virus and should be discouraged. Should an organization wish to host such activities, performers must be separated from the audience/attendees and each other by at least 6 feet. Use of a physical barrier between the performer and the audience is not a substitute for social distancing. The audience/attendees should be discouraged from singing along with a song leader or performer.




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