There have been many questions regarding the upcoming snowmobile season in Vermont and how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact VAST and club operations. VAST wants to assure its members that we are monitoring the situation and are prepared to respond accordingly as conditions warrant. Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the governor has enacted some tougher restrictions that, while not directly impacting snowmobiling, do impact how residents and non-residents will be able to participate. These restrictions include but are not limited to the following:
- All non-essential travel to and from Vermont now requires quarantine. Vermonters should limit non-essential travel.
- Currently, travelers have several options for quarantine, they can quarantine in their own home outside of Vermont for fourteen days, or they can come to Vermont and quarantine for the same amount of time. Another option is that they can quarantine for seven days and after seven days get a COVID test and carry the results with them.
- People from different households should not gather. Attendance at all public and private social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, indoor and outdoor, including large social gatherings incidental to ceremonies, holiday gatherings, parties and celebrations, shall be limited to participation with only members of a single household.
- All restaurants must be closed to in-person dining at 10:00 p.m., but may provide food and beverage alcohol, including spirit-based drinks and malt and vinous product accompanying food orders through curbside pick-up, drive-through, and delivery services for off-site consumption after 10:00 p.m.
Bars and social clubs shall suspend operations; however, bars and social clubs may offer take-out, curbside pickup and delivery of beverage alcohol, including spirit-based drinks and malt and vinous product.
What do these rules mean for snowmobiling in Vermont this coming winter?
We first need to realize that our season does not begin until December 16th, a lot can change between now and then. Vermont considers snowmobiling an isolating sport, but only if all quarantine rules and COVID-19 mitigation protocols are followed. This can be accomplished by following simple guidelines:
- Outside activities, such as snowmobiling, are allowed but only alone or with household members or other people you are quarantining with. Please note that in some of the state’s guidelines it says that “recreational activities” are not allowed. This is regarding team recreation like leagues and clubs. This is not referring to snowmobiling by yourself or with someone else from your isolating household.
- Do not carpool to parking areas with anyone you do not live with or are quarantining with.
- Do not go into stores or restaurants if you are quarantining.
- If you are required to quarantine while in Vermont, bring all your food and supplies with you.
- Use only gas stations where you can pay at the pump.
- Do not stop and talk on the trail with people that you do not live with or are in quarantine with.
- If staying in Vermont, be sure to fill out all required forms that the lodging operator is required to hold and follow all their guidelines.
Will snowmobiling look different this winter in Vermont?
As of today, yes but you will still be able to ride, have fun and enjoy the trails. Please know that VAST will continue to monitor the situation and make every effort to ensure our members are informed of any changes that impact their ability to enjoy our trails.