By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
The State of Vermont has begun tracking out-of-state motorists entering the state and is warning them about the 14-day self-quarantine directive issued by Gov. Phil Scott.
Scott said it is a data-collection effort and that depending on the findings the state may take action.
He said the state has heard tales about out-of-staters coming to Vermont, but officials need to get a baseline.
“We will react accordingly depending on what we see,” Scott said in response to a question from The Islander during his daily press conference.
Scott explained that no registration plates are being recorded, only the states of the vehicles arriving and how many people
“We are looking at the colors of the plates to determine who is coming in,” Scott said.
He also noted Vermont continues to need goods and services as people are being directed to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” under one of his Executive Orders.
Earlier Agency of Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn of South Hero told The Islander no enforcement effort was planned for the time being.
He said the traffic monitoring idea was generated as part of the State Emergency Operations Center, a unified command center in place in Vermont to try to deal with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
AOT employees were monitoring traffic Wednesday at 3 sites in Grand Isle County. They were: the Lake Champlain ferry crossing in Grand Isle and at the bridge connecting with the state of New York in Alburgh. A third AOT employee was parked near the international border in Alburgh.
The AOT vehicles had signs indicating the purpose of the driver inside.
“I am an employee of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and I am counting vehicles at this crossing,” a sign on AOT stationery said in part.
A large AOT roadside flashing sign tells drivers arriving in Vermont they need to self-isolate for 14 days if they are staying in the state.
Flynn said 29 travel routes into Vermont along the borders with Canada, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire were being monitored by AOT.
He said on Wednesday morning he expected that number to increase – possibly doubling – over the next 36 hours.
The monitoring is being done at high traffic sites, including one at the exit to the Burlington International Airport in South Burlington.
The monitoring, which is until further notice, is 24-hours around the clock at each site, Flynn said.