Governor Mills Opens Southern Maine Restaurants, Relaxes Store Capacities
Gov. Janet Mills made the announcement during Monday's Maine CDC COVID-19 briefing. The changes mostly affect businesses in southern Maine, but also open stores, statewide to a larger capacity of customers. These new changes include:
- Allowing restaurants in Cumberland, York, and Androscoggin counties to open to indoor dining effective June 17. Governor Mills said not all businesses will be ready to open as early as Wednesday, but they are permitted to open, beginning on that date. All COVID-19 safety guidelines will need to be strictly followed.
- Allowing bars, tasting rooms, and breweries to open for outdoor service on June 17 in Cumberland, York, and Androscoggin counties.
- Allowing gyms, nail salons, and tattoo parlors in Cumberland, York, and Androscoggin counties to open, effective June 17.
- Statewide, retail establishments will be permitted to allow up to 5 customers in the stores at a time, for every 1,000 square feet, which should cut down on the length of waiting lines. Retail workers will still be required to wear face coverings and follow strict guidelines.
Mills says the changes are based on a plateau in the trend of new cases in the three southern Maine counties. She says it's still important for residents to socially distance from others, wash hands often and well, and wear face coverings anywhere physical distancing might not be possible.
"If we continue to protect ourselves and one another by taking these steps, we can reopen our economy in a safe way and limit the spread of this dangerous virus," Dr. Mills said in a media release.