Gov. Janet Mills has issued an executive order mandating travelers to Maine self-quarantine for 14 days to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order instructs visitors not to travel to Maine if they are displaying symptoms of the coronavirus and advises them not to travel to Maine if they are coming from cities or regions identified as COVID-19 hotspots.
In addition, the order suspends lodging operations and online reservations at hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns and short-term rentals and campgrounds beginning Sunday, April 5 at noon. Exceptions include emergency placements for children, homeless people and those at risk of domestic violence, as well as for health care workers who are deemed necessary to support public health, safety or critical infrastructure.
A statement from the governor's office says it is hoped that compliance will be voluntary, but says the order may also be enforced by law enforcement with individual violations subject to a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine. Lodging, park or campground operators who violate the order could face loss of their business licenses or permits.
"We are facing one of the greatest public health crises of the world in more than a century," Mills said. "But if we pull together, we can and will defeat this virus."
Mills urged Mainers not to make assumptions about others and to treat each other with compassion and kindness.
The order is effective immediately and extends until at least April 30.
Originally published 6:31 p.m. April 4, 2020.