Vermonters can leave their masks at home if they feel like it. They can gather in bigger groups and skip the social distancing, too, if they want to and businesses allow it. That's because Vermont seen 80.2% of eligible residents get at least one vaccine dose—the highest percentage in any state—and COVID cases have dropped 94% since April 1. Gov. Phil Scott announced Monday that all restrictions have been lifted, the Burlington Free Press reports. In a statement celebrating the way Vermonters coped with the pandemic, Scott said, "Through it all, we've shown the nation and much of the world how to respond when there is no playbook, and how to do it with civility and respect."
The state’s emergency order expires Tuesday and the governor won’t renew it. Lockdown was supposed to be lifted by July 4, but the Free Press reports the state issued the 80% goal in hopes of getting there sooner. Over the past few weeks the state has been vocal about what its current percentage was and how many more people needed to get vaccinated to get to 80%. The Wall Street Journal credits residents' trust in state health officials for its top spot, pointing to a March 2021 study that found over a 12-month period, Scott had the top approval rating of all governors in the US. As far as the US goes, 43.4% of all Americans have been vaccinated. In Vermont, that figure in 61.2%; Mississippi is at the bottom with 28.1% (Read more lockdown stories.)