Governor Mills Outlines Plan for Restarting the State’s Economy

On April 28, Governor Mills outlined her plan to gradually restart the state’s economy. The Governor’s plan establishes four phases for reopening, with the first phase beginning on May 1. Progression of phases are expected to occur on a month-to-month basis. Stages will evolve based on the success of the prior phase and CDC data, which will include the review of COVID-19 case trends, hospitalization rates, and healthcare capacity.

The stages outlined on the Governor’s website are as follows:

Stage 1 (May):

Beginning May 1, Stage 1 continues the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people, the quarantine of all people entering or returning to Maine for a period of 14 days, and the special precautions for older Mainers and others at risk of COVID-19. It calls for people who are able to work from home to continue to do so, including State employees. It will also newly require that Maine people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain and continue strict requirements for long-term care facilities. Guidance on cloth face coverings will be issued in the coming days.

Stage 1 also allows for the limited expansion of certain business, religious, and quality of life activities with appropriate safety precautions. These include:

  • Health care from Maine-licensed providers, with recommendations that they prioritize care for patients with time-sensitive conditions; assure the safety of patients, staff, and communities; manage the use of essential resources such as personal protective equipment and testing supplies; and pace re-opening services to the level of community COVID-19 activity, maintaining capacity in our hospitals for potential outbreaks
  • Personal services: Barber shops, hair salons, and pet grooming
  • Limited drive-in, stay-in-your-vehicle religious services
  • Drive-in movie theaters
  • Outdoor recreation: guided outdoor activities (hunting & fishing) and restricted use of golf and disc golf courses
  • State parks, state-owned public land trails, and historic sites
  • Auto dealerships and car washes

Stage 2 (June):

Tentatively beginning June 1, Stage 2 contemplates revising the limitation on gatherings from less than 10 people to less than 50 people. It also calls for people who can work from home to continue to do so, but allows for employees in certain fields to begin to reenter the office as needed, including State employees. It maintains the 14-day quarantine for all people entering or returning to Maine and the special precautions for older Mainers and others at risk of COVID-19.

With appropriate safety precautions, Stage 2 would allow for some degree of opening with reservations, capacity limits, and other measures for:

  • Restaurants
  • Fitness and exercise centers and nail technicians
  • Retail stores for broader in-store shopping
  • Lodging and campgrounds for Maine residents and those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement
  • Day camps for Maine children and those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement
  • Coastal State parks

Stage 3 (July & August): 

Tentatively beginning July 1, Stage 3 contemplates maintaining the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people and other Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions, including the 14-day quarantine on people entering Maine.

With appropriate safety precautions, Stage 3 would allow for some degree of opening for:

  • Lodging, such as hotels, campgrounds, summer camps, or RV parks for Maine residents and visitors. The Administration is developing guidelines to assist them in safely reopening, and reservations should not be taken until those guidelines are issued.
  • Outdoor recreation such as charter boats and boat excursions
  • Bars
  • Personal services such as spas, tattoo and piercing parlors, and massage facilities, among others

Stage 4 (Timeline undetermined):

Stage 4 contemplates lifting restrictions and allowing all businesses and activities to resume with appropriate safety precautions.

At the beginning of the week, Governor Mills joined Maine credit union CEOs and the League on a town hall conference call. During the call, Governor Mills praised Maine’s financial first responders and thanked credit unions for their efforts.