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Maine Lifts Travel Restrictions For Massachusetts Residents

Robert F. Bukaty
AP Images
In this Wednesday, June 10, 2020, photo, a sign in Gilead, Maine, near the border with New Hampshire, warns visitors entering Maine that they are required to quarantine for 14 days

Visitors from Massachusetts can now come to Maine without having to get a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days.

The Mills Administration announced the change Wednesday afternoon, effective immediately, and the new policy has some southern Maine businesses thrilled.

Scott DeFelice has been waiting for this announcement for six months. He's the general manager of the Elmwood Resort Hotel in Wells.

"We're doing backflips right now."

DeFelice says the vast majority of the hotel's clientele is from Massachusetts. Business has been down 50 percent this year, but he's hoping that will soon change.

"It opens us up to two-thirds of our additional clientele. I mean, even looking at Columbus Day weekend, which is generally booked up a month in advance, we still have a number of openings for it. I expect the phone to start ringing any second."

Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah said in a written statement that the transmission risk for COVID-19 in Massachusetts is now similar to other exempt states such as Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. The rate of positive tests in Massachusetts is currently about 0.8 percent.

A half dozen states are now exempt from Maine's quarantine and testing requirements. State officials still urge all out of state residents to get a test before they visit.