In anticipation of tourism season, Gov. Janet Mills recently introduced the Moving Maine Forward plan, which establishes a timeframe to increase businesses’ capacity limits using a simple model based on percentage of capacity. The plan also revises Maine’s travel policies and sets a target reopening date of March 26 for indoor service at bars. The new, multi-month plan reflects the stabilization of Maine’s COVID-19 metrics and progress in vaccinations.

Effective immediately, the plan adds Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island to the list of states exempt from test or quarantine requirements. New Hampshire and Vermont had previously been exempt. It also exempts those who have either recently had COVID-19 or been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of their state of origin. Federal requirements related to international travel remain in effect.

Public health and safety protocols such as wearing face coverings, keeping physical distance and conducting enhanced cleaning will remain in effect throughout the summer.

For indoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity will increase to 50% starting March 26 and 75% starting May 24. For outdoor gatherings, the percentage of capacity will increase to 75% starting March 26 and 100% starting May 24. The new capacity targets may be reduced if Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention determines hospital capacity is at risk or if a new variant strain poses a significant risk to public health in Maine.

Effective May 1, and through the summer, travelers from all states are automatically exempt unless otherwise determined by the Maine CDC. 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.

Although vaccinations have begun, COVID-19 remains a serious public health threat and people should continue to heed all health and safety protocols, including wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and avoiding large gatherings.