MAINE, USA — It may feel like every day a new coronavirus, COVID-19 related order is put in place or an old one expires—it can get a little confusing. So, here’s a list of the important orders that are still in place statewide you should know about.
Civil State of Emergency:
On Wednesday, June 10, Gov. Janet Mills extended the proclamation of a Civil State of Emergency for Maine 30 days through July 10. This was her third extension of the proclamation.
It’s important to note this is separate from the stay-at-home order—we’ll go into the details of that order later—and they’re separate directives. The proclamation simply allows the State to continue to draw critical Federal funds and gives the State the ability to deploy all available resources to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Maine.
Under Maine law, State of Civil Emergency Proclamations may only be issued in thirty-day increments.
Stay Safer at Home:
The statewide stay-at-home order was put into effect on April 2. It was later extended to May 31, but just before it expired the Governor put a new order in place that eased the stay-at-home restrictions. This order is in effect until it’s rescinded.
Here’s an outline of the eased order:
- Eases the restrictions on certain gatherings from 10 to 50 beginning June 1 consistent with the restarting plan.
- Eases restrictions on eating establishments permitted to reopen and maintains restrictions on those not yet authorized to reopen consistent with the restarting plan.
- Phases out the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses consistent with the implementation of the restarting plan.
- Continues to require businesses to the extent practicable as determined by businesses to have their employees work remotely.
- Continues but relaxes Maine’s “Stay Safer at Home” Order, which has Maine people stay-at-home with exceptions, allowing people to visit more businesses and participate in more activities as they reopen under the restarting plan.
- Maintains previously established restrictions on use of public transportation, unless necessary for essential purposes, and continues to limit passengers in certain private vehicles.
- Effective June 5, requires places of business accessible to the public to post readily visible signs notifying customers of the requirement to wear cloth face coverings where physical distancing is not possible, as many already have, and allows them to deny entry or service to a person not wearing a covering and who is exempt from doing so.
Keep Maine Healthy Plan:
The order issued on June 9 deals with travelers coming into Maine. It says that all those who travel to Maine from other states, other than New Hampshire and Vermont, must either: have a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14-days upon arrival.
Beginning July 1, tourists will have to sign a certificate of compliance when they check into a hotel, motel or other lodging confirming that they've had a COVID-19 test within the previous 72-hours and that it was negative.
Restarting Maine's Economy:
Maine is currently in Stage 2 of Mills' plan to reopen the Maine economy. On June 4, Mills accelerated business openings in 13 rural Maine counties.
Tasting rooms and bars may open for outside service and gyms, fitness centers, nail salons, and tattoo and piercing parlors may open with added health and safety precautions beginning on Friday, June 12. These establishments may reopen in all counties except for York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin Counties.
Here's the breakdown:
State 1 (all counties): May
Construction, drive-in theaters, health care, outdoor recreation, personal services like dog grooming and hair salons, outdoor fitness classes, real estate, religious gatherings, car dealerships and car washes, and transportation.
Stage 1 (Rural counties): May/June
May 11: retail businesses
May 18: Restaurants for dine-in and outdoor service, campsites and sporting camps
June 12: Bars and tasting rooms (outdoor service only), Tattoo, Body Piercing, Electrolysis, and Micropigmentation Establishments
Stage 2: June
While previously limited to 10 people, group gatherings can now consist of up to 50 people (with physical distancing regulations still in place). Groups traveling in a vehicle should still consist only of people living in the same home. Employees in legal and professional fields may return to offices, including State employees, as needed.
List of services and business allowed to reopen under Stage 2:
Stage 3: July-August
There are no set dates for when the remaining services and businesses can reopen, or for when bars, tasting rooms, and dine-in service for Cumberland, York, and Androscoggin Counties are allowed to reopen.
Lodging, such as hotels, campgrounds, summer camps, or RV parks for Maine residents and visitors per the Keep Maine Healthy plan.
Outdoor recreation: Overnight charter boats, excursions – fewer than 50 people, and overnight summer Camps
- Tattoo, Body Piercing, Electrolysis, and Micropigmentation Establishments (for Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties)
- Massage Facilities
- Cosmetologists and Estheticians
- Laser Hair Removal Services, and Similar Personal Care and Treatment Facilities and Services
The statewide primary and referendum election will be held on July 14 instead of June 9.
The order also allows applications for absentee ballots to be made in writing or in person, without specifying a reason, up to and including the day of the election. Absentee ballots issued more than three months before June 9, 2020 remain valid for use in the July 14, 2020 election.
Rent Relief Program:
The Governor and MaineHousing extended the Rent Relief Program that was put into place due to the coronavirus pandemic. The program, established in April, allows households that meet certain income and ability to pay requirements to receive a one-time, up to $500 payment in rental assistance to be paid directly to their landlord. With the extension, the program now covers rent for the months of April, May, or June.
The order also prevents the immediate eviction of tenants other than those who engage in dangerous or unlawful conduct for the duration of the state of emergency.
CLICK HERE for a complete list of the Governor's Executive Orders.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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