In split vote, Portland council does not approve mask mandate

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:02 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - A mask mandate will not be reinstated in the city of Portland, for now.

In a split 4-4 vote, the Portland City Council voted down another indoor mask mandate Monday night. This vote was postponed from last week.

Councilors who voted against the mandate said businesses in the city are already under a major strain.

“I don’t believe that it is a good idea for a single municipality to establish a mask mandate,” said Belinda Ray who represents District 1. “I think it’s only effective if it is a regional effort, preferably a state effort.”

But those in support of bringing back the mandate said the city should take the lead to help stop the spread of the delta variant.

“We cannot wait for the state to take the lead here. We can’t afford to wait another few weeks to see if that happens,” said At-Large Councilor April Fournier.

The indoor mask mandate is expected to be on the agenda again at the council’s next meeting on Oct. 4.

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