AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills extended curfews for certain businesses into the first days of 2021 on Friday as coronavirus cases continued to climb in the state.
The original curfew, which requires all indoor and outdoor amusement venues, restaurants, casinos and movie theaters to close by 9 p.m., was set to expire this Sunday. The extension through Jan. 3, 2021, comes as new cases continue to crop up in corners of the state that hadn’t seen cases of the coronavirus earlier in the pandemic.
Mills said in a press release that it is “too early” to know how the Thanksgiving holiday — during which health officials advised against travel and large family get-togethers — affected case counts, but said the state could not afford to let its guard down. The order aims to limit gatherings in settings where people “are more likely to let their guard down and expose themselves and others” to the virus.
Maine saw its deadliest month in the pandemic in November as 67 people died due to the virus. The virus has also recently crept close to the highest levels of Maine government, with Mills in quarantine and awaiting test results after a member of her security detail tested positive for the virus this week.
The curfew will likely put a damper on New Year’s Eve gatherings at restaurants. Other nearby states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and New York, instituted similar restrictions before the Thanksgiving holiday. Businesses are still allowed to have curbside pick-up and delivery services after 9 p.m.
It is the latest step the Mills administration has taken to curb the virus, including reducing the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings back to 50 people and instituting a mandatory mask requirement when out in public.