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COVID-19: Maine Enters Phase Four of Reopening; State’s Face Covering Mandate Expanded

On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Governor Janet Mills issued Executive Order 14 FY 20/21An Order to Implement Phase Four of the Restarting Maine's Economy Plan

When the state’s “Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan” was announced in late April, it was projected that Phase Four would lift all restrictions while maintaining any necessary precautions. Instead, the governor’s latest Order takes an incremental approach to Phase Four. The order amends indoor seating limitations, and opens some businesses that have heretofore been closed. It also increases limits on indoor seating as cold weather approaches, maintains public health measures, and strengthens the state’s face covering mandate.

Beginning Tuesday, October 13, 2020, Executive Order 14 FY 19/20 and Executive Order 55 FY 19/20 are amended to allow businesses and organizations that serve people through seated activities to operate at 50% of their permitted occupancy limit, with a maximum of 100 people. This includes restaurants, houses of worship, social clubs, and school cafeterias. Appropriate health and safety protocols, such as enhanced cleaning practices and physical distancing, remain in full effect. Updated COVID-19 checklists for these businesses and organizations can be found here.

For non-seated indoor activities – such as physical activity in gyms – the gathering limit remains at 50 and the outdoor gathering limit remains at 100.  Retailers remain subject to the occupancy limit of five people per 1,000 square feet of shopping space.

Beginning Monday, November 2, 2020, the Order allows for the reopening of indoor service for bars and tasting rooms. These establishments must abide by the new COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for seated food and drink service, which is provided in an update to the restaurant checklist.

Additionally, the Order expands Executive Order 49 FY 19/20 by requiring certain businesses to enforce the state’s face covering requirement.  While the enforcement mandate during summer months was limited to Maine’s coastal counties and more populous cities, it is now required statewide. The Order also extends the requirement for wearing a face covering that is applicable to restaurants, lodging, and retail establishments to include the premises of private schools, local government buildings, and their adjacent grounds.

Businesses that violate this Order are subject to enforcement, including possible fines and loss of licenses.

©2022 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 281
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About this Author

Andrea Maker Healthcare Attorney Pierce Atwood Law Firm Portland
Partner

Andrea Maker provides governmental relations services in Maine and in Washington, DC with Maine's Congressional delegation. Her practice includes lobbying, government contracts, and strategic positioning of organizations. Her advocacy focus areas include economic development, workforce development, health care and real estate.

Andrea maintains strong relationships with Maine’s legislative leaders, Governors and cabinet members. She is well connected across the State and has personal relationships with countless other policy makers, business...

207-791-1101
Ann Robinson, Pierce Atwood Law Firm, Augusta and Portland, Health Care Law Attorney
Partner

Ann Robinson is a partner in Pierce Atwood's Government Relations and Health Care Practice Groups.

A highly regarded Maine attorney and lobbyist, Ann was a partner and former Chair of the Government Affairs Practice Group at a large Maine law firm, where she built an active legislative and regulatory law practice focusing primarily in the areas of health care, insurance, and professional regulation.

Ann most recently served as General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for Spectrum Medical Group, P.A., Northern...

207-791-1186
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