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Freeport closes Main Street to allow social distancing

Starting on July 4, the town of Freeport is closing a portion of its Main Street to allow businesses to have more space.

FREEPORT, Maine — Tourism season in Maine won't look the same this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the town of Freeport is hoping to help its businesses by closing down part of Main Street.

On Friday afternoon people were out and about, shopping or getting a bite to eat to start the holiday weekend. The town council in Freeport wants to make it easier for people to do these things, but also practice social distancing.

So starting on July 4, every Saturday and Sunday a portion of Main Street will be closed. The town council has been working closely with the police department and the Maine Department of Transportation to make this happen.

"To come up with the route that can be closed but also with a safe detour route so that even if there's anything, there's a safe way for them to navigate the small portion of town that we have closed off," Tawni Whitney said. Whitney is the Vice Chair of the Town Council.

Closing the street to vehicular traffic allows for more foot traffic and will give Main Street businesses more space to let their customers social distance.

"We want it to be normal that everybody's wearing a mask and they're trying to keep their distance. Just for it to become the new norm so that people know that Freeport is a safe place to come enjoy outdoor dining and shopping," Whitney said.

Town leaders don't have a time frame of how long they will do this but, if it goes well, officials said it could be through Labor Day.

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