AUGUSTA, Maine — Governor Janet Mills ordered even tougher action Friday to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

Mills issued an Executive Order requiring all people entering Maine to self-quarantine for 14 days. Only some workers for essential businesses are exempt from the requirement. 

At the same time, the Governor ordered hotels and other lodging, including inns, weekly rental properties and campgrounds to close, except for housing certain “vulnerable populations”, such as children in crisis, and “.. health care workers or other workers deemed necessary to support public health, public safety, or critical infrastructure.”

“To slow the spread of this deadly virus and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed, we must all do our part,” said Governor Mills. “I am mandating that anyone entering Maine self-quarantine for 14 days and abide by Maine’s Stay Healthy at Home Order. These actions will protect the health and safety of everyone.”

People currently staying in one of those lodging facilities can remain until the end of their current schedule stay, but cannot extend it, according to the Governor’s office.

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The order says law enforcement is authorized to enforce it.

There has been considerable criticism, especially in coastal communities, of non-residents coming to Maine to stay in seasonal homes or even rentals as a way to escape the more crowded urban areas during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Governor said there should be no harassment of people without state license plates because that could unwittingly target people in the military or health care workers who came from other states to work here.

 The new order takes effect on April 5.

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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