MAINE, USA — The past few weeks have been a taste of the summer to come. That warmer weather means the tourism season is almost here -- and in the nick of time, Maine's COVID-19 policies for visitors from away are changing this weekend.
Per the "Moving Maine Forward" plan, visitors coming from all states will be exempt from travel restrictions, pending CDC approval, starting Saturday, May 1. That means more people can come to Maine without having to get tested or quarantine. That will not include people from certain states with spikes in variants. The Maine CDC will be keeping (and updating) a list of those states.
Governor Janet Mills introduced "Moving Maine Forward" on March 5, as a plan designed to tell Mainers what they should expect this summer and help Maine businesses prepare for the upcoming season. On that day, people from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island were immediately allowed to visit our state without testing or quarantining. Before then, only visitors from New Hampshire and Vermont were allowed to do so.
Since its beginning, "Moving Maine Forward" has also exempted travelers who have recently recovered from COVID-19, or who have been fully vaccinated, from testing and quarantining, regardless of the state they're traveling from.
As for its significance to Maine, these looser travel restrictions are meant to help our state's economy after businesses were hit hard last year. In a press release early last month when announcing "Moving Maine Forward", Gov. Mills said, "Public health and economic health go hand-in-hand -- and this plan aims to achieve both."
Next on the agenda is an expected adjustment to facility capacities, both indoors and outdoors. On May 24, the indoor capacity limit is expected to increase to 75 percent, and the outdoor limit is expected to increase to 100 percent. The goal is to have these changes in place come Memorial Day Weekend.