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Gov. Janet Mills unveiled a sweeping plan Friday that gradually drops quarantining and testing requirements for out-of-state visitors and increases gathering limits, all while maintaining public health protocols like wearing face masks and social distancing. UPDATED MAINE TRAVEL POLICY Effective immediately, visitors from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island can travel to Maine without quarantining or providing a negative COVID-19 test. New Hampshire and Vermont residents were already exempt from those requirements. Americans who are fully vaccinated against the virus, regardless of where they live, can come to Maine without quarantining or providing a negative test, Mills said.Those exemptions will be extended to residents of all states beginning on May 1 unless the Maine CDC deems a state a COVID-19 «hot spot.»Under this new model, the Maine CDC will be charged with identifying states that have a high prevalence of highly contagious COVID-19 variants. If one or more states see a spike in variant cases, Maine will apply its test or quarantine requirement to travelers to and from that state. This more targeted approach will remain in effect through the summer.UPDATED CAPACITY LIMITS The plan also gradually increases capacity limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings.Beginning March 26, indoor gathering limits increase to 50% capacity, then 75% capacity on May 24. Outdoor gathering limits increase to 75% on March 26 and 100% on May 24.»We are a welcoming state, and now we feel safe enough to open up our doors much more fully and enjoy the comradery we’ve enjoyed in the past with people from all over and allow our businesses to thrive,» Mills said.The plan also allows bars and tasting rooms to reopen on March 26. Many have been closed or serving take-out since the pandemic began almost one year ago. Maine’s face mask and social distancing protocols remain in place.The plan is expected to remain in place through the summer, Mills said. After announcing her plan, Mills toured the mass vaccination clinic at Scarborough Downs.She underscored her message that vaccines are the to reopening the state more fully. The governor said the state is winning the race against the coronavirus, with 1 in 5 Mainers receiving one vaccine dose and 1 in 10 being fully vaccinated.»So, we’re on track to defeat the virus, we’re keeping close track of the emerging variants, as they emerge in this state and other states,» Mills said.Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah promoted the important roles of clinics across Maine for getting patients in and out in under 20 minutes.»It’s sizable, and that’s why centers of this nature are so important,» Shah said.While Mills said she is hoping for a resurgence of tourism in Maine this year, she said there are at least two things she can’t control. They are the return of cruise ships and the reopening of the Canadian border. Seventeen percent of all Maine tourists came from Canada before the pandemic.

Gov. Janet Mills unveiled a sweeping plan Friday that gradually drops quarantining and testing requirements for out-of-state visitors and increases gathering limits, all while…

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Read More: Gov. Mills loosens Maine’s travel restrictions, gathering capacity limits ahead

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