In light of Governor Janet Mills’ April 28 announcement regarding her stay-at-home extension and safe and gradual plan to restart Maine’s economy, City officials want people and businesses in Portland to know that they should plan to follow the State’s Order in terms of Stage 1, which begins Friday, May 1. The Governor’s news comes after the Council’s April 27 action, in which they aligned essential and non-essential services with the state’s guidelines and extended the City’s stay at home order until May 18.
While the Governor’s Official Order is not yet available, the State expects to have the full language ready on Thursday, April 30. The State Department of Economic Development will be working with businesses to work through a "checklist" to determine eligibility on when they can open/operate.
At the Council’s Monday, May 4th meeting, Mayor Snyder will be asking the Council to consider repealing the City’s local Stay At Home Order and instead move forward with having businesses comply with the provisions of the State’s Order.
“Portland businesses (their owners and employees) ought to have the opportunities afforded Maine business owners and employees in light of the Governor’s announcement,” said Mayor Kate Snyder. “Recognizing that changes and updated guidance from the State could be daily throughout Stages 1, 2, 3 and beyond, it would be impossible to respond within a local order. This is why I’ll be asking the Council at our May 4 meeting to consider using the State’s guidance going forward.”
According to the State, in order to reopen, various sectors of Maine’s economy will be required to work with the State Dept of Economic Development to implement practical, reasonable, evidence-informed safety protocols and modifications that protect the health and safety of employees and customers. DECD will work with the private sector to distribute COVID-19 Prevention Checklists ahead of staged openings to allow businesses to prepare. The checklists, which will differ sector to sector, will undergo a rigorous review process including from government officials, health experts, and industry representatives.
Businesses that commit to complying with the requirements on the checklist will be provided a badge to post at their business, on their website, in their advertising, or on social media. Their names will also be posted on the DECD website and they will be allowed to open. Health providers in Maine will follow U.S. CDC and professional association guidelines.
The public is encouraged to stay up to date on the latest information from the Maine CDC. The City is posting information related to COVID-19 resources on a dedicated page at https://www.portlandmaine.gov/COVID19.