Quarantine still hurting tourist season on MDI

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BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - Less than 10 days away from 4th of July weekend, and businesses in Bar Harbor continue to see the effects of the state mandated 14-day quarantine for those who want to stay at hotels and other lodging businesses.

Without visitors filling the hotels, many downtown businesses still haven’t opened for the season.

A few businesses in the area have had to close for good.

Business owners say the quarantine is leaving them with impossibly hard decisions to make about how, or even if, to operate this season.

“People coming here, they have to quarantine for two weeks right now," said Steve Bart, who owns Katahdin Photo Gallery. "You know, they’re coming here for a week or two vacation, they can’t stay in a hotel for two weeks. That’s the main reason why people are not coming here.”

Kristi Bond, co-owner of FishMaine Restaurant Group, added, “You know, the hospitality industry is one of the biggest money making industries in the state, in terms of taxes. And the trickle down effect of what’s gonna happen when all of these tourist businesses go away is frightening.”

A collaboration of hospitality businesses called 'Work With Maine' has presented Governor Mills with an alternative to the state mandated quarantine that involves regular testing of employees on the front lines of the tourism industry.