Maine plans to phase out COVID-19 safety checklists starting at the end of this week and instead rely on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, state officials said Wednesday.

Gov. Janet Mills also will issue a new executive order by the end of the week covering mask-wearing and other expected changes as Maine businesses prepare for looser restrictions on face coverings and venue capacity limits starting Monday, officials said. In keeping with federal changes announced last week, the governor will not require fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors as of then.

Maine is moving to a “recommended but not required” model of pandemic business guidelines, Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, said in a monthly video call with business leaders.

The department has kept more than two dozen detailed lists of mandates segmented by business type on its website for much of the past year. By the end of the week, that will be updated with links to the U.S. CDC recommendations.

Businesses will not need to enforce mask mandates or 6-foot social distancing rules as of Monday and lodging establishments may be able to ask that a guest be vaccinated to stay at their hotel, but it is a complicated situation and businesses should check first with lawyers. The cruise ship industry and some higher education organizations are requiring full vaccinations.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.