Staying Safe While Visiting Midcoast Maine
With more than 37 million out-of-state visitors last year, Maine is the ultimate summer destination for people from all over the world. Yet as we all know, the summer of 2020 is like none we’ve ever experienced. With the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world, a trip to Maine takes a little more preparation and consideration to protect its residents and visitors.
Due to the limitation on the number of people who could attend a public gathering, the Maine Lobster Festival had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel its five-day annual event for the first time in 73 years. But the organizers made the responsible choice to keep our residents and visitors safe.
The state remains on track to have the lowest amount of coronavirus cases in New England, and Maine has a vested interest in keeping COVID-19 cases low.
Here, is what you need to know when traveling to Maine.
The 14-Day Quarantine & Exceptions
Initially, Gov. Janet Mills mandated that all out-of-staters traveling to Maine, as well as Maine residents returning to Maine, complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. In mid-June, that plan was updated to a “Keep Maine Healthy” multi-layered approach to protect Maine residents, visitors and small businesses alike. Essentially “the State will allow adults who obtain and receive a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival to forgo the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine.” For visitors staying at all Maine lodging, campgrounds, and seasonal rentals, proof of a negative test will be required. It’s important to read all of the details.
As of July 1, Mills’ administration announced that visitors from Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative, effective July 3. That said, Gov. Mills continues to strongly recommend that visitors from these states — and all states — obtain a test before visiting Maine, in order to “Know Before You Go.” Visitors can find COVID-19 testing sites near them.
Face Coverings & Social Distancing
In a nutshell, bring a mask for every person in your party, and be prepared to wear a mask in public at all times. Gov. Mills issued an Executive Order requiring Maine’s large retail stores, lodging establishments, restaurants, and outdoor bars and tasting rooms in two Midcoast counties (Waldo & Knox) as well as Hancock, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, York, Bangor, Brewer, Lewiston and Auburn, to enforce the State’s face covering requirement. And businesses will be charged with enforcing that rule. No mask, no entry — just like “no shirt, no shoes, no service.”
How to Enjoy Maine While You're Here
Surveys show that most visitors want to enjoy Maine’s great outdoors and places that are COVID-safe this summer, and there are certainly plenty of ways to do that. Almost every Midcoast restaurant has explored the option of serving outdoors if possible and all businesses have complied with Maine’s sanitation and social distancing checklists. Rockland has closed down certain streets this summer for outdoor dining and walkability. And with Maine’s Parks and Beaches, from boating to camping to biking, there are infinite ways to enjoy the outdoors. Check out our past blogs on the best hiking trails, places of interest and attractions to explore.
For more information on ways to enjoy Maine on your visit here this summer, catch up with Maine Lobster Festival’s informative website. We hope to see you at the Festival in 2021!