Crosswalk signs outnumber the pedestrians in downtown Portland just hours before a stay-at-home order went into effect in this March 25, 2020, file photo. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

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Portland city councilors unanimously agreed Monday night to temporarily ease some restrictions on businesses deemed nonessential under the city’s coronavirus stay-at-home order.

On Friday, the city indicated that it would permit nonessential business activity such as shipping, no-contact delivery and curbside pick-up in order to fulfill online and phone orders until the City Council made changes to the stay-at-home order.

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At Monday’s nights emergency workshop, Mayor Kate Snyder said the action was taken because there have been varying interpretations of what’s allowed under the local order. Several councilors acknowledged that while some businesses have been complying with city orders, others have not.

Snyder said she continues to see the emergency order in terms of public health.

“That being said, I don’t think anyone of us has ever lost track of the impact that these actions that we’re taking, are having, on our local economy, our national economy and our global economy, and I think they’re impacting everybody,” the mayor said.

Councilor Jill Duson noted that when Portland ratified its order, Gov. Janet Mills hadn’t yet released hers, so Portland’s order was more restrictive than what eventually came down from Augusta.

“These are emergency actions,” Duson said, “and we have had to make and remake these decisions based on the data available. And so our order has to be open to changing, as the governor’s order has changed.”

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.