Governor Mills Orders Travelers to Quarantine, Closes Lodgings
Governor Janet Mills has issued an executive order that will put limitations on travelers to the state, including closing hotels, motels, and campgrounds.
The order, which takes effect immediately and will be in place until at least the end of the month, mandates that anyone traveling to the state of Maine, regardless of their state of residency, must self-quarantine for 14 days, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Maine DOT and Turnpike Authority will post the restrictions at all entrances to the state. Only those providing essential services will be exempt.
The order instructs visitors not to travel to Maine if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or if they are coming from regions known as COVID-19 hot spots.
The executive order also suspends the operation of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, and short-term rentals like VRBO, Airbnb, RV parks and campgrounds, in order to deter travel. This suspension goes into effect on April 5, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. The only exceptions will be for places that provide housing for vulnerable populations, such as children in emergency placements, persons at risk of domestic violence, and homeless individuals, as permitted by the state.
In addition, accommodations for healthcare workers or other workers deemed necessary to support public health, safety, or critical infrastructure are also exempt.
The Governor says she hopes compliance with this order will be voluntary, but may be enforced by police, if necessary. Individual violations may be charged a Class E crime, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Additionally, owners of any lodgings found to be in violation could lose their license to operate.
Governor Mills said in a media release, "I ask Maine people not to make assumptions about others, and we welcome the cooperation of other visitors and returning residents in quarantining themselves and keeping us all safe in accordance with this order. Let us treat all people of Maine with compassion and kindness. That is how we will get through this."