Gov. Mills issues new order asking Mainers to continue to stay at home, but with some relaxing of restrictions

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Governor Mills issued a new executive order Friday afternoon, asking Mainers to continue to stay at home as much as possible.

The Governor did not attend Friday's briefing with Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC, instead issuing a release to media by email.

The "Stay Safer at Home" Order was set to expire on Sunday, May 31.

Effective May 31, Mainers are being asked to continue to remain at home as much as possible, but allows people to visit businesses that have reopened under the phased approach to restarting the state's economy.

The latest executive order also allows people to participate in some of the activities that were not allowed in the "Stay Safer at Home" Order.

This new order also allows for people to gather, increasing from 10 people to groups of 50 people. That becomes effective on June 1st.

The Governor has also mandated that people cannot use public transportation at this time, the only exception for those who need to use transit services for essential reasons.

People are still being asked to limit travel in their privately owned vehicles while only with members of their immediate family.

An additional note in the latest executive order is that effective June 5th, businesses that are accessible to the public should post visible signage indicating that cloth face coverings should be worn where physical distancing is not possible.

Businesses, according to the Governor's order, will be allowed to deny entry or service to those who choose not to wear face coverings or for a person "who is exempt from doing so."

Read the full order here:

Governor Janet Mills Friday signed an Executive Order that allows for the gradual easing of restrictions implemented under previous Executive Orders as the state continues to reopen under the Restarting Maine’s Economy plan. As of today, Maine has reopened its economy on par with or to a greater extent than most other New England states.
“It is my responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of Maine people and to support our economy. Throughout this reopening process, I will continue to fight to strike that balance,” said Governor Mills. “This Executive Order allows for the gradual lifting of restrictions as we continue to reopen our economy. I continue to ask Maine people to stay home whenever possible, not only to protect themselves but to protect others as well, like our frontline workers. If and when you do go out, I urge you to stay local and shop local, to stay at least six feet apart from others, to wear a face covering, and, as always, to wash your hands and practice good hygiene. Staying vigilant will save lives and allow us to safely reopen our economy.”
To a large extent, the Executive Order signed today consolidates for clarity the major provisions of previous Executive Orders and adds to the face covering requirement. The following is an outline of the order:
1. Eases the restrictions on certain gatherings from 10 to 50 beginning June 1 consistent with the Restarting Plan.
2. Eases restrictions on eating establishments permitted to reopen and maintains restrictions on those not yet authorized to reopen consistent with the Restarting Plan.
3. Phases out the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses consistent with the implementation of the Restarting Plan.
4. Continues to require businesses to the extent practicable as determined by businesses to have their employees work remotely.
5. Continues but relaxes Maine’s “Stay Safer at Home” Order, which has Maine people stay-at-home with exceptions, allowing people to visit more businesses and participate in more activities as they reopen under the Restarting Plan.
6. Maintains previously established restrictions on use of public transportation, unless necessary for essential purposes, and continues to limit passengers in certain private vehicles.
7. Effective June 5th, requires places of business accessible to the public to post readily visible signs notifying customers of the requirement to wear cloth face coverings where physical distancing is not possible, as many already have, and allows them to deny entry or service to a person not wearing a covering or who is exempt from doing so.
The Order is effective May 31, 2020 and will remain in effect until rescinded."