Maine

Governor Tells Out-of-Staters Not to Travel to Maine ‘For an Early Vacation’

Gov. Janet Mills is telling out-of-state people and part-time residents not to make an unnecessary trip to Maine during the coronavirus pandemic

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As Maine's cases of COVID-19 climbed to 118 Tuesday, Gov. Janet Mills has a message for out-of-staters thinking of visiting or returning to homes in the state.

"If you are safe where you are, stay where you are," Mills said to reporters in a press briefing at the Maine Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday. "You should not be traveling to Maine for an early vacation."

Mills doesn't want to keep any property owners who aren't full-time residents away, but she thinks the ramifications of travel could potentially cause COVID-19 to spread to the person traveling and those they encounter.

Gov. Janet Mills of Maine mandates all non-essential businesses to close after 118 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the state. Fifteen of those cases are hospitalized, 7 have recovered.

It's a worry echoed by local town leaders who want part-time residents to practice social distancing, or, in some cases, take more precautions.

Towns like Swan's Island are asking all arriving seasonal residents to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and encourages them to reconsider travel to the island in general because of its limited medical resources.

"We suggested, 'please don't come' in a nice way, you probably have better medical care where you are," said the Chair of Swan's Island's board of selectmen, Sonny Sprague Jr. "You can't tell them they can't come because they're islanders just like we are."

Two hundred or so miles south of Swan's Island, in York, town beaches are closed to discourage all residents from congregating there and out-of-staters to seek them as places to crowd.

York Town Manager Steve Burns says the measure was taken after the beaches and other parks became busy over the past weekend, sparking concern.

As the number of COVID-19 cases grows in Maine, leaders on the island of North Haven have decided to ban anyone who isn't a full-time resident.

Homeowners from out-of-state have no restrictions on returning.

"If they own a home and they're able to use that, they've got water turned on and it's heated, great," said Burns. "Just practice social distancing and good behavior."

On Tuesday, Mills also said Maine Turnpike traffic did not indicate a surge in out-of-state travel in recent days, explaining she does not have the power to close state borders.

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