On Tuesday, seven Maine tourism-industry organizations sent an open letter to Gov. Janet Mills urging her to lift the requirement for persons entering or re-entering the state through at least the end of August to self-quarantine for 14 days - a requirement which obviously will kill Maine's summer 2020 tourist season.
Co-signers of the letter are:
- HospitalityMaine, representing lodging and restaurant businesses
- Retail Association of Maine
- Visit Portland Maine
- Visit Greater Bangor Maine
- Ski Maine Association
- Maine Campground Owners
- Maine Tourism Association
Here is the full text of the letter:
"Dear Governor Mills,
As the tourism focused industries in
We know this because we represent the largest single industry in
It doesn’t stop there.
Our businesses and employees work with and support thousands of other
Visitors Need To Feel Welcomed
We need to begin, today, making the future brighter for
In order to do so,
We have done our part as you’ve asked. We’ve closed our businesses. We’ve practiced physical distancing. We’ve looked out for the well being of our family, friends and neighbors.
In turn, our pledge to you and to the people of
Moving forward, we promise to:
Build, practice, and enforce smart, health and safety protocols that make sense for each business type that supports your administration’s checklists
Establish industry-wide protocols for monitoring the health of all staff before they meet or greet our guests or customers
Work with municipalities and state agencies to ensure open, regular communication
Our Plan Of Responsibility
We take the responsibility of our economic impact on this state seriously. We know that each day we aren’t able to move forward means another frontline worker who doesn’t have a job, another business at risk of not reopening.
We have begun the work that will allow our industry to reasonably re-open:
This plan follows CDC guidelines
Ensures a safe environment for workers and guests alike
Protects the health of our communities in every way possible
Now we need you to trust in our commitment to one another and let us be responsible
Please Remove The 14 Day Quarantine
Governor Mills, please consider our appeal to remove the 14 day quarantine restriction and instead, work with our industry’s most trusted leaders to develop a reopening plan that makes sense for
From the western majestic mountains to the scenic coastline, from our Canadian borders to the
And to do so safely and responsibly.
Since the letter appeared, it's been widely reported in Maine media that owners of tourism businesses are "split" on the quarantine issue, with (likely) a majority favoring an end to the quarantine requirement, but a vocal minority saying they're concerned for the safety of customers and employees if tourists from COVID-19 "hotspots" like Boston and NYC will be permitted to enter the state at will.
How will this situation play out, and how soon? Watch this space.