Maine will move into Stage 4 of the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy on Tuesday, October 13, according to an executive order. Stage 4 increases limits on indoor seating to 50% of permitted occupancy, or 100 people — whichever is less — and maintains public health measures such as enhanced cleaning practices and physical distancing.

The order also requires that more entities — such as private schools and municipal offices — ensure that employees and people in their buildings adhere to the state’s face covering mandate, and expands the scope of enforcement statewide.

The progression into Stage 4 comes as Maine, adjusted for population, continues to lead the nation on key metrics for COVID-19 response, including having the lowest number of hospitalizations, second lowest new cases and fourth lowest number of deaths.

Updated checklists for businesses and organizations that serve people through seated activities, such as indoor dining, religious gatherings and movie theaters, are posted on the Department of Economic and Community Development’s website. Health and safety protocols, such as enhanced cleaning practices and the requirement to maintain six feet of distance between seating areas, remain in full effect.

For non-seated indoor activities, such as physical activity in gyms, the limit remains at 50. The outdoor gathering limit remains at 100 people. Retailers remain subject to the occupancy limit of five people per 1,000 square feet of shopping space.

Stage 4 also anticipates a reopening date for indoor service for bars and tasting rooms of Monday, November 2. To reopen for indoor service, these establishments must abide by the newly posted COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for seated food and drink service, which is an update to the restaurant checklist.

In a news release, Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson said, “We recognize that winter capacity is critical to Maine businesses. ... We will continue to review creative options for other sectors as we move into Stage 4.”