Start packing your bags, your kayaks and your hiking boots! Just in time for the spring and summer travel season, March begins with some very good news for anyone planning a trip to Vacationland. On March 5, Governor Janet Mills of Maine announced the “Moving Maine Forward” plan, which is designed to protect public health and support Maine’s economy as the state approaches its busy spring and summer tourism season.
Simply put, the Moving Maine Forward plan establishes a clear timeframe to increase capacity limits for tourism. Effective immediately, residents of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island may travel to Maine without providing a negative COVID-19 test result or quarantining. Compliance options for visitors from all other states have also been updated to include those who have completed a full COVID-19 vaccination.
Beginning May 1, 2021, Maine’s COVID-19 travel policy will automatically exempt all states, unless otherwise determined by the Maine CDC. If one or more states experiences a spike in cases of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, the Maine CDC will apply its test or quarantine requirements to travelers to and from that state.
The plan maintains the critical public health and safety protocols – like wearing face coverings, keeping physical distance, and conducting enhanced cleaning.
The plan reflects the stabilization of Maine’s COVID-19 metrics and progress in vaccinations and aims to provide clarity and predictability for Maine people and businesses to plan for the summer months and establish Maine as a safe place to visit.
The Moving Maine Forward plan has also set some other target dates. There is a planned reopening date of March 26 for indoor service at bars, for example. For indoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity will increase to 50% starting March 26 and to 75% starting May 24. For outdoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity will increase to 75% starting March 26 and 100% starting May 24.
The good news is that now is the time to book a coastal hotel or a lakeside cottage, make plans to spend a long weekend at one of the state’s glamping resorts or a weeklong stay at a sporting camp. It also means that wedding plans can go forward. For anyone thinking of visiting Acadia National Park, canoeing down the Allagash River Waterway or sea kayaking along the Maine Island Trail, it’s time to make those daydreams a reality