Town of Essex Rule Requiring Wearing Face Coverings Indoors in Public Spaces Extended through Feb. 20

On Monday, December 06th, the Town of Essex Selectboard voted unanimously (5-0) to institute a Face Covering Mandate Rule for the entire Town of Essex, which includes the Village of Essex Junction.  Based on the alarming number of new cases, hospitalizations, and unfortunate deaths the Selectboard felt that an immediate response was necessary to protect the public now and during at least the next 45 days.

Locations that are open to the public are required to prominently displace the attached notice at their entrance.

The Town did not impose a fine structure with its rule as the Selectboard wishes for the community and those that patronize our businesses to see this for the health and safety issue that it is, rather than a legal process. The rule is in effect for 45 days and can be extended for 30 day increments until the state law’s effective date expires on April 30, 2022.

Questions regarding this new Rule can be directed to Evan Teich, Unified Manager of the Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction, at 802-878-1341 or at

ON JANUARY 18, 2022, the Selectboard voted to extend the Face Covering Rule through February 20, 2022.

The Rule as edited on January 18, 2022 reads as the following:

Section 1. Authority. 
This Rule is adopted by the Selectboard of the Town of Essex under authority of Act 1, an act relating to temporary municipal rules in response to COVID-19 (2021), effective December 7, 2021.

Section 2. Purpose. 
The purpose of this Rule is to require all individuals to wear face coverings while indoors at locations that are open to the public in order to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public health and safety of the Town of Essex.

Section 3. Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.
All individuals in the Town of Essex shall wear face coverings while indoors at locations that are open to the public, and these locations shall prominently display this requirement at their entrance. 

Section 4. Exceptions.
Face coverings are not required for:

  • Children under 2 years
  • A person with a disability who cannot wear a face covering or cannot safely wear a face covering for reasons related to the disability
  • A person for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the workplace risk assessment
  • Any person while eating or drinking inside any establishment that serves food or beverage

Section 5. Other Laws.  
This Rule is in addition to all other ordinances and rules of the Town of Essex and all applicable laws of the State of Vermont. All ordinances, rules, or parts of ordinances, rules, resolutions, regulations, or other documents inconsistent with the provisions of this Rule are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.

Section 6. Severability. 
If any section or provision of this Rule is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such finding shall not invalidate any other part of this Rule.

Section 7. Effective Period.
This Rule shall take effect on December 7, 2021 upon the approval by the Selectboard and shall remain in effect for a period not to exceed 45 days following its initial adoption, through January 21, 2022. The Selectboard shall meet during the 45-day period in which this initial Rule is in effect and vote either to rescind this Rule or to extend it for an additional 30 days. Thereafter, the Selectboard shall meet at a minimum once every 30 days to reconsider this Rule, at which meeting the Selectboard shall vote either to rescind this Rule or to extend it for an additional 30-day period, not to extend beyond April 30, 2022 in accordance with Act 1. The filing of a petition under 24 V.S.A. §§ 1972 and 1973, shall not govern the taking effect of this Rule.

 ADOPTED by the Selectboard of the Town of Essex of at its meeting on this 6th day of December, 2021; and extended through February 20, 2022 by the Selectboard at its meeting on the 18th day of January, 2022.