It’s time to start making plans to visit Maine. Beginning May 24, just in time for tourist season, Maine will lift its face coverings requirement and capacity limits. The state will also lift its physical distancing requirements indoors — except for establishments where people eat and drink.
The changes will go into effect before Memorial Day, and will “continue to allow for additional capacity for businesses and non-profits to safely plan for a robust tourism season,” Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, said in a statement.
Making Good Progress
Furthermore, although the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the state now has more than 65,000 positive COVID-19 cases, the numbers are declining, an Associated Press article reports. For instance, over a two-week span, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine did not increase. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine did not increase over two weeks, either.
Given that progress, Governor Mills announced that — beginning May 24 — Maine will lift all capacity limits and requirements for social distancing in all public outdoor settings. It also will lift all capacity limits in most public indoor venues.
“Physical distancing requirements are also eliminated, except in settings where people are eating or drinking and therefore would be removing their face covering — such as indoor restaurants, bars, dining areas in camps, or in congregate living facilities and break rooms,” according to the statement.
“This change aligns with the latest science and makes sense for Maine at this stage, with more people getting vaccinated,” Governor Mills said. “We will continuously review our protocols. The fact is the more people get vaccinated, the faster we will be able to get back to normal.”
Lifting The Mask Mandate
The second piece of good news is that following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear face coverings indoors, Governor Mills announced that Maine will follow the CDC’s guidance — also beginning on May 24.
It should be noted, however, that consistent with the CDC’s guidelines, it is recommended that people in Maine who are not fully vaccinated should wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The CDC also requires people to wear masks on all planes and public transportation.
“For people who are not vaccinated, including children too young to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask remains one of the most effective ways of protecting yourself and your family against this highly contagious disease,” Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, said. “We thank those who are fully vaccinated for doing their part to protect themselves and their communities — and ask them to consider wearing a mask in public places to give children the example they need to continue wearing one until a vaccine is available for them.”
Know Before You Go
As of May 1, Maine no longer requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for travelers arriving in the state. Note that until May 24, the state of Maine will continue requiring people to wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Full details about Maine’s COVID-19 response plan may be found here.
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