(The Center Square) – Maine’s lodging industry can begin taking reservations in preparation for their reopening June 1 as part of Gov. Janet Mills’ plan to reopen the state’s economy following restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month the governor said lodging establishments could reopen in the second phase of the plan.
“The tourism and hospitality industries are vital pillars of Maine’s economy," Mills said in a statement. “We are acting in partnership with the industry to resume reservations while we also work together to evaluate alternatives to the 14-day quarantine, including testing and other protocols, that will allow us to protect Maine residents and tourists during the summer months.”
The 14-day quarantine only applies to visitors coming in from outside the state.
“We will continue to work closely with the tourism industry to make progress as we head into the summer,” said Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “Ultimately, we want to adjust the 14-day quarantine in a way that protects the health of Maine people and the health of Maine businesses.”
Also set to open on June 1 are restaurants, fitness centers, nail salons, retails stores and Coastal State Parks. The openings come with social distancing requirements. The Department of Economic and Community Development has released guidelines for lodging, campgrounds and nail salons. Other guidelines will be released May 20, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Hotels, campgrounds and RV parks can reopen July 1, along with bars and personal services.
Mills is following other governors who are also relaxing stay-at-home restrictions as the number of novel coronavirus cases continue to decline.
The state’s death toll increased by three on Thursday and is now at 69, according to Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the outbreak, 1,405 positive tests have been reported along with 160 probable cases, an increase on Thursday of 50. So far 958 people have recovered, according to CDC officials.