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Maine’s economic reopening changed again on Monday, when Gov. Janet Mills offered up an alternative to the 14-day quarantine mandate for out-of-state visitors. Under her Keep Maine Healthy plan, instead of a self-quarantine visitors can sign and submit a certificate of compliance to their lodging facility that they have tested negative for COVID-19.
Given the ongoing changes, the Bangor Daily News asked you to provide questions about the reopening. We will continue to answer them on a rolling basis. If you have a question, you can ask it here.
Given current data and predicted trends, will the quarantine be lifted for out-of-staters before July? — Jason, Milford, Pennsylvania
We’ve had many questions about the quarantine, which was changed by the governor on Monday. Starting July 1 visitors will have the option to get a COVID-19 test before they come to Maine and sign a certificate where they stay indicating they have received a negative test within 72 hours of their visit.
Lodging owners are required to keep the certificates for 30 days and have them available if needed, but the state will not collect them.
Visitors from Vermont and New Hampshire, neighboring states that the governor said have low coronavirus case rates, are exempt from quarantine requirements as of this Friday. Other than residents of those two states, tourists who have not been tested will still be required to self-quarantine.
When visiting, be prepared to show your test results if asked. If you are visiting a popular tourist area, you also might be randomly tested for symptoms.
What can we expect for weddings scheduled this summer? Will gathering limits be increased? — Christy, midcoast
The state increased the number of people allowed to gather from 10 to 50 on June 1. It has posted the guidelines for gatherings on its website. Details on numbers beyond June haven’t been released yet.
If you have out-of-state guests, you’ll want to advise them of the rules for visitors, including an option to be tested shortly before they come to the state and to sign a certificate saying the test was negative.
Here’s our guide to what visitors may want to know before they come to Maine.
The governor of New York has issued an executive order that gives store owners the right to refuse entrance to folks who do not wear a mask. Will Maine’s governor consider such an executive order? — Steve, Orono
Face coverings are a hotly debated topic among readers. When the governor issued a new executive order on May 29, she stated explicitly that businesses can deny entry to customers not wearing face coverings, but with some exceptions.
The new face covering provision in her order, which went into effect on May 31, adds to the earlier April 29 executive order that mandates coverings in public places where distancing is difficult, including stores.
But it allows exemptions for children under age 2, for children in child care and for people who have trouble breathing, have related medical conditions or who cannot remove a mask without assistance. And those people are not required to show proof of their condition.
The governor’s new order also required every business accessible to the public to post easily visible signs notifying customers about the requirement to wear face coverings by June 5.
However, customers without face coverings still can be seen in stores where the requirement is posted. It’s up to stores whether they enforce the face covering requirement. Some are simply reticent to ask customers about whether they have a condition that excludes them from wearing a covering.
My 3-year-old grandson hasn’t gone back to daycare yet. He has two teachers and there are 16 kids in 12 different age groups. How can I make sure that they are doing the necessary precautions? — Grammy C., Naples
Child care facilities have been allowed to remain open throughout the civil state of emergency, said Jackie Farwell, communications director at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Maine DHHS has distributed updated guidance and information to licensed child care facilities to help them protect the health and safety of children and staff.
The most recent guidance is on its website. Farwell suggested reading the information and discussing it with the child care provider. The guidance includes suggesting that staff and children over age 2 wear face coverings within the child care facility and requiring every person entering the facility to be screened for symptoms of viral infection including cough, difficulty breathing, fever or chills.
Watch: Maine gets funding for coronavirus testing