AUGUSTA—Effective May 24, Maine will lift all capacity limits and requirements to physically distance in all public outdoor settings. Capacity limits in public indoor venues will also be lifted.
Physical distancing requirements end, except in settings where people are eating or drinking (where masks will be removed), such as indoor restaurants, bars, dining areas in camps or in congregate living facilities and break rooms.
Face coverings must still be worn in public indoor settings.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Department of Education will update school-based protocols separately.
“As we continue to make progress in vaccinating Maine people, it is appropriate to update our protocols ahead of schedule. While we are easing restrictions on capacity limits and physical distancing requirements in most instances, we are maintaining masks for indoor activities and distancing for when you can’t wear a mask, like when you’re eating indoors,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This change aligns with the latest science and makes sense for Maine at this stage, with more people getting vaccinated. We will continuously review our protocols. The fact is the more people get vaccinated, the faster we will be able to get back to normal.”
Previously, under the Moving Maine Forward Plan, indoor gathering capacity was scheduled to increase to 75 percent and outdoor gathering capacity had been scheduled to increase to 100 percent on May 24, and physical distancing was still required. The Governor lifted the requirement to wear a face covering outdoors on April 27.
The update comes as Maine continues to make good progress in vaccinating people. Gov. Mills announced on May 12 that more than 70 percent of Maine people age 18 and older have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) tracker.
“These changes reflect the most recent science on how the virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted,” said Nirav. D. Shah, director of the Maine CDC. “However, getting vaccinated remains the best way to limit potential transmission and protect yourself and your community from COVID-19.”