AUGUSTA, Maine — Retail businesses in 12 counties in Maine can reopen to walk-in customers beginning today. Those counties include Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington, Hancock, Somerset, Frankin, Oxford, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc. 

Rural Maine Reopenings
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Governor Janet Mills announced the revision to her phased reopening of Maine Friday. 

Mills said these mostly rural 12 counties can begin the reopening process because there is no evidence of community transmission of the coronavirus and because there is a lower number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The stores must follow CDC safety guidelines to reopen. The guidelines include employees being required to wear face coverings, ensuring social distancing between staff and customers, and limiting the number of customers inside the establishment, among others.

Read the complete safety checklist for retail businesses:

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Statewide, fitness and exercise centers are also allowed to reopen today, but only for outdoor classes of ten or fewer people, or for one-on-one personal training indoors. CDC safety guidelines must also be followed by employees and clients.

Mills said this new plan does not mean stores must reopen. If employees are not comfortable returning to work or are considered at-risk of the coronavirus, they should not feel compelled to return to work. Employers are urged to be flexible with their employees, and be aware that local governments could apply additional restrictions in the interest of public health and safety.

On Monday, May 18, restaurants in the 12 counties may open for outdoor dining and for limited dine-in service, with strict health and safety precautions.

Businesses and all other counties will have to wait until June. 

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: coronavirus.

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