Following a review by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Governor Janet Mills announced that the State of Maine will adopt the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (U.S. CDC) new guidance which allows fully vaccinated Americans not to wear face coverings indoors, effective May 24, 2021.
Maine will also lift the physical distancing requirement at indoor public settings where people are eating or drinking and therefore would be removing their face covering – such as indoor restaurants, bars, dining areas in camps or in congregate living facilities, and break rooms.
Consistent with the U.S. CDC’s guidelines, it is recommended that people in Maine who are not fully vaccinated wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The U.S. CDC requires people to wear masks on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
The May 24th date aligns with Maine’s previously-established timeline to remove restrictions and allows those who have not yet been vaccinated to receive at least their first shot prior to the change. This includes youth ages 12 to 15 who just became eligible for a vaccine this week.
Yesterday afternoon, the Mills Administration updated the Moving Maine Forward Plan to lift all capacity limits and physical distancing requirements in all outdoor public settings. The Administration also lifted capacity limits for indoor public venues and physical distancing requirements, except in settings where people would be removing their face coverings.
The U.S CDC issued its new guidelines at the same time the Mills Administration released its update to the Moving Maine Forward Plan. Overnight, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the new Federal guidelines and recommended their adoption to the Governor, who agreed.
Additionally, in light of the increased role the U.S. CDC has assumed in issuing guidance, the State of Maine will begin retiring its COVID-19 Prevention Checklists and transitioning to U.S. CDC guidelines as appropriate. The Maine Department of Education’s requirements and recommendations for schools, along with other Federal requirements, remain in effect at this time. Additional Federal guidance from the U.S. CDC for schools and other venues is expected.
Businesses and other organizations may, consistent with legal obligations, adopt policies for their employees or clients that either require vaccination or require proof of vaccination in order to avoid wearing a mask.