Portland City Council unanimously passes mask mandate

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 6:34 AM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - The Portland City Council passed a universal mask mandate for indoor businesses and public buildings Monday by a unanimous 9-0 vote.

The mandate will take effect at midnight Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Councilor Andrew Zarro, the main sponsor of the ordinance, based the mandate largely off of the one recently passed in Burlington, Vermont.

Houses of worship and schools would not fall under the supervision of the mandate. Gyms, theaters and sports venues have a limited exemption only if the performers or exercisers are vaccinated and are separated from an audience or the public by space, a barrier or by a ventilation system.

Businesses will have the option of forgoing the mask mandate by requiring COVID-19 vaccinations instead, though a wider vaccine mandate was not discussed. The council voted to define “vaccinated” using the CDC’s definition of being two weeks after a final dose.

Masks can be removed while eating or drinking at restaurants or at a personal workspace.

Businesses will have until Monday Jan. 10 to post signs about the mask mandate.

The vote came after the council voted to end the city’s state of emergency by an 8-1 vote.

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