Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday expanded indoor gathering limits and face-covering mandates as of Oct. 13 as part of fully opening Maine’s economy with pandemic-related health mandates.
She also set Nov. 2 as the reopening date for bars and tasting rooms.
The total number of people cannot exceed 50 percent of the location’s capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. The new mandate includes front of house staff. Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson said Wednesday that the inclusion of the staff was to improve contact tracing and the management of public health. Outdoor seated gatherings remain limited to 100, including front of house staff. The total indoor and outdoor occupancy cannot exceed 200. Face coverings and table and social distancing mandates still apply.
Under the governor’s executive order, the same seating conditions for food and drink service that limit total capacity to 100 also apply to bars, restaurants, social clubs, tasting rooms, houses of worship, movie theaters and school cafeterias. However, if seating is not available, the limit is 50 people.
There are no changes to lodging except establishments with restaurants must follow the seated food and drink service mandates.
Pick-your-own farms, orchards and tree farms must require workers and customers to wear face coverings. Pick-your-own locations and craft and county fairs can have up to four separated zones of up to 50 people each, including staff and customers, with 14 feet separating the zones. Hayride and sleighride staff and customers must wear face coverings and maintain at least 6 feet between household groups of up to 10 people or individuals. Advanced reservations and time restrictions are recommended for corn mazes and haunted houses.
Trick-or-treaters should wear a face covering. A costume mask will not suffice unless it has two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face. Children should avoid indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy social distancing. The guidelines warn that traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses and recommend safer activities such as carving pumpkins with household members, decorating houses or living spaces, having a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt for children or holding a Halloween movie night with people you live with.