Maine State Parks and Beaches Reopen

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Popular state parks, beaches and restaurants are welcoming people back in Maine.

On Monday, the state moved into its next official phase of reopening, allowing outdoor seating at restaurants in places like Portland and state parks to reopen across southern Maine.

Whether it was customers of East Ender and Duckfat, enjoying lunch at newly-installed picnic tables across the street; pedestrians on the freshly-closed-to-traffic Exchange Street; or those first in line to get a summer beach pass in Scarborough, there was a palpable sense of calm in the earlier part of the day.

"June 1, we're ready to go, we're really excited," said Max Barber, co-owner of the Mainely Burgers food truck, as he was setting up at the entrance to Scarborough Beach.

Barber said he took a small hit to business because the park opened later than usual, but he expected the beach to be busy with people eager to get out of the house as safely as possible.

Visitor Kathleen Bray confirmed that sentiment, saying she felt 100% safe walking the beach and using its restrooms. She was wearing a mask and carrying sanitizing wipes as an extra precaution.

"We'll be here as much as humanly possible, and I'm smiling underneath this," said Bray, gesturing to her mask.

Among the other notable reopenings Monday were many facilities at Acadia National Park.

The Jordan Pond House restaurant is serving customers again, the Park Loop Road is open to cars and some gift shops are open again as well, along with outdoor tents serving as quasi-visitor centers.

The question of how tourists and visitors will feel if crowds begin to build at these various places as the summer goes on remains an open one.

Not all restaurants had set up their outdoor seats yet, and Monday was a chilly beach day.

Maine also has a 14-day quarantine that's mandatory for out-of-state visitors arriving for non-essential vacations or extended stays.

If that's lifted, more travelers may start arriving.

In the meantime, the ones who do choose to make the trip will find limitations on what they can and can't do.

Eating inside a restaurant has been delayed in parts of southern Maine, and Acadia's campgrounds will not open until July 1.

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