Earlier this month, Gov.Chris Sununu announced that the state of New Hampshire is loosening several of its business restrictions. During a news conference, Sununu said, “As our numbers trend down, both in hospitalizations and fatalities, and as vaccinations trend up… we want to provide additional flexibilities based on the data that we’re seeing here, ”(Summerson, 2021.) Requirements for travel, retail, restaurants, cosmetology businesses and camps have been lifted.
According to WMUR, “Under the new guidelines, bars and restaurants can now allow darts, pool, karaoke and bands of three members or less, provided they can stay 10 feet from the audience. The quarantine requirement for domestic travel to New Hampshire is now an advisory. Sununu said the state can make the changes because the most vulnerable are getting vaccinated, and safety measures are still in place.”
In addition, Sununu said, according to WMUR, “We want to help businesses plan for the summer. We know it’s going to be a very good summer. We know a lot of folks are planning now, so we don’t want the tourism industry to suffer. They took the brunt of the hit, if you will, last year.”
Keene State College Dean of Students Gail Zimmerman had a few words to share. She said, “While the Governor has relaxed some restrictions – particularly the travel quarantine guidelines – we have made the decision to continue our current protocols. Our isolation and quarantine protocols remain in effect as well. And, of course, our mask, social distancing, and social gathering requirements remain in force.”
Zimmerman also said, “I am, of course, concerned about how the relaxation of restrictions for restaurants, bars, and other businesses will affect the transmission and infection rates in the community and the college. We are one of the few NH colleges that has not had to lockdown – a real testament to our students! – but we cannot relax what we are doing now.”
President of KSC Melinda Treadwill said, “The travel restrictions our state has had have been relaxed a little over a week ago. We are not relaxing at Keene State because we’re trying to make sure that we don’t move before there’s some confidence that the risks have actually changed. At this point, the risks have not changed enough for us to do anything different on our travel guidelines. I am worried about that, it’s clear that the virus is still circulating. We are not out of the woods yet.”
Treadwill also said, “Everything we’re hearing right now, the positive cases that were getting when were following up, it’s either that people were in bars and restaurants or they were in gatherings without masks. So, we know that’s where people are picking it up and sharing it. It’s not surprising, it’s just hard for folks to keep their masks on and to keep space. Everyone wants to relax and go back to normal but we’re just not there yet. We need a couple more months.”
Both local Keene businesses Cobblestone Ale House and Lab N’ Lager did not have anything to say regarding the new order.
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