Restaurants in Penobscot County may reopen to dine-in service on June 1, as part of the state's reopening plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, restaurants in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties will have to wait.

Gov. Janet Mills gave Penobscot County restaurants the green light to reopen to dine-in service during Wednesday's news conference because the county has not seen more than three new cases a day since April.

Mills also announced restaurants in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties could not reopen to dine-in service as scheduled on June 1 because the virus is more prevalent in those areas. Restaurants in those counties may offer take-out and outdoor dining.

Currently, there have been a total 99 cases of COVID-19 in Penobscot County. One person with COVID-19 from Penobscot County has died.

For comparison, as of May 27, there were 1,065 total cases in Cumberland County, 365 cases in York and 252 cases in Androscoggin. Most of the active cases in Maine are in those three counties, according to state statistics.

Mills had earlier allowed restaurants in Maine's 12 rural counties to reopen. Penobscot County will now join those counties where restaurants can open to dine-in service.

All restaurants must follow the state's new guidelines for reopening. Some of those new rules include spacing between tables and safety precautions for restaurant staff.

Also on June 1, retail businesses in York, Cumberland, Androscoggin, and Penobscot counties – counties where these businesses have been closed to indoor shopping – will also be permitted to voluntarily reopen, also with sector-specific health and safety precautions.

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