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Maine campgrounds get good news amid coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, other businesses see setback

While campground operators rejoiced over the reopening plan announced by Gov. Mills, some other businesses didn't feel the same way.

AUGUSTA, Maine — If you’re looking to camp or park your RV this holiday weekend, the Mills Administration had happy news for you on Tuesday.

Maine campgrounds and RV parks will be allowed to open Friday – just in time for Memorial Day—and more than a week ahead of the original “phase 2” schedule in the economic recovery plan from Governor Mills.

The change was announced by Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Jonson at the daily Maine CDC briefing Those campgrounds and RV parks have to follow strict guidelines about social distancing and other things, and can only be open for Maine residents. Commissioner Johnson says the revision to the plan was worked out in partnership with people from the state campground and RV park industry.

“In advance of Memorial Day weekend, we are accelerating reopening of campgrounds and RV parks for Maine residents … Maine has a long tradition of embracing the outdoors, and is also promoting health during the global pandemic,” Johnson said. “Campgrounds that choose to reopen must follow the precautions identified in the COVID-19 prevention checklist."

The DECD said campground will open to out of state residents after June 1, but those people will need to meet the state 14-day self-quarantine requirement before they can use the campground of RV site.

That quarantine for anyone entering Maine, other than essential workers, continues to be the most controversial element of the Governor’s reopening plans.

While campground operators celebrated, some other businesses were dealt a setback.

Johnson announced the gyms, fitness centers, and nail salons, which had been scheduled to reopen after June 1, will have to keep waiting, with no definite date in sight. Gyms and fitness centers currently offering outdoor classes can continue those.

The decision, said Johnson, is based on studies showing an increased risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus indoors during athletic and fitness workouts, and by the face-to-face close contact in nail salons, even when masks are worn.

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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