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Portland officials to ramp up patrols for the holiday weekend

After a viral photo taken in the Old Port on Friday night, city officials are reminding residents and visitors to follow CDC guidelines.

PORTLAND, Maine — City of Portland officials told NEWS CENTER Maine it found no violations of the CDC reopening guidelines by businesses in the Old Port on Saturday night.

This comes after photos circulating social media show a lack of social distancing and mask-wearing.

"I don't want to demonize people who were out," Portland Mayor Kate Snyder said.

The photos looked to be near Bonfire Country Bar. The bar later released a statement defending its practices and showing photos of other views of the Friday night scene. The other angles provided show the overcrowding was happening on Wharf Street rather than at the restaurant's outdoor dining area, which looked to be properly spaced out in the photos the bar shared.

"How people choose to congregate in public places like a street is very tricky," Snyder said.

Portland officials are planning to put signs around the city to remind people of the CDC guidelines, and are urging residents and people who visit the city to stay six feet away from others. City officials say if that's not something you can do, put a mask on.

"It is literally the easiest thing that you can do to keep your neighbor safe," Portland City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau said. "All you have to do is put it on if you're within six feet of somebody."

Extra code enforcement officers and extra Portland Police officers will be patrolling on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the July Fourth holiday weekend.

RELATED: Bonfire Country Bar addresses viral photos taken on Wharf Street

RELATED: Complaints, viral Instagram post force Portland officials to promise Old Port coronavirus guideline crackdown

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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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