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Southern Maine Restaurants Sue To Reopen

Robert F. Bukaty
A Mexican restaurant remains closed under orders to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Friday, May 8, 2020, in South Portland, Maine.

Some restaurants in southern Maine are suing to allow the state to let them reopen.

Restaurants across the state were originally set to open to indoor dining at the beginning of June, but the governor postponed reopening for restaurants in York, Cumberland and Androscoggin counties because of the continued spread of COVID-19 there.

Ray Richardson, with the group Standing Up For Maine, says the four restaurants, in rural towns such as Bridgton and Harrison, have lost thousands of dollars worth of food because of Mills’ order.

“She did it with a meat cleaver, not a surgeon’s scalpel. Even though there may be some COVID-19 issues in Portland, that shouldn’t be affecting, let’s say, the town of Bridgton. But they’re shut down by it, as well,” he says.

Another group of businesses filed a lawsuit against the governor last month, saying the state’s business restrictions are unconstitutional. Richardson says that lawsuit will go forward, despite the governor’s announcement on Monday that the state will provide alternatives to the 14-day quarantine rule for out-of-state visitors.

A spokesperson for the Maine attorney general’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.