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AUGUSTA, Maine — Campgrounds and RV parks will open to Maine residents on Friday, but gyms and nail salons will be delayed beyond an originally planned June 1 opening, Gov. Janet Mills’ administration announced on Tuesday,
The decision to open campgrounds came following research showing that outdoor transmission of coronavirus is less likely than indoor transmission, Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, said at a news conference.
The reopening comes ahead of Memorial Day, which typically rings in Maine’s crucial tourist season. Campgrounds will have to follow a set of guidelines released by the department last week, including requiring reservations and observing physical distancing guidelines.
Campsites are limited to a single household, according to the guidelines, and gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. Only Maine residents and visitors who have completed the 14-day travel quarantine are permitted. Johnson reiterated Tuesday that her department was continuing to “look for other options” to the quarantine to help the state’s tourism economy.
The opening of campgrounds before Memorial Day follows the Monday opening of wilderness campground sites in 12 counties as part of Mills’ rural reopening plan. Wilderness camps are located in remote parts of the state such as the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and the North Maine Woods system. Campers still must follow public health guidelines.
Gyms and nail salons will not be able to open on June 1 as originally scheduled due to concerns about transmission in those facilities, Johnson also announced. Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah cited a study in South Korea that linked 112 cases to fitness classes.
“It’s a virus that comes out of your lungs and gets transmitted through the air, and when you’ve got other people around you who are exercising and taking deep breaths in, it postulated that the possibility of transmission is greater,” Shah said.
He said there is not currently a timeline for reopening gyms and nail salons while the state reassesses the scientific evidence.
Watch: Janet Mills outlines her plan to reopen