Restaurants in 12 of Maine’s 16 counties reopened for dine-in services on Monday, as permitted by the state’s “Rural Reopening Plan” outlined by Gov. Janet Mills (D).
Restaurants in 12 counties — Aroostook, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, Somerset, Franklin, Oxford, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc — resumed dine-in services on Monday.
According to the guidance, restaurant employees are required to wear masks, with an emphasis on frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing, “especially between contact with customers and customer items.”
The guidance urges employees to maintain proper social distancing and suggests that restaurants stagger employee shifts “to avoid crowding in common work areas.”
“Place signage at entrances and throughout the store alerting customers to COVID policies, especially to maintain 6 feet physical distance to the extent possible,” the guidance continues, adding that restaurants should only permit one member of a party to wait inside for a table.
Additionally, menus must be sanitized after each use, and salad bars and buffets must remain nonoperational.
Restaurants in the neighboring state of New Hampshire are permitted to reopen on Monday but for outdoor seating only.
Maine, which has an estimated population of 1.3 million, has reported 1,713 cases of the novel coronavirus, 223 hospitalizations, and 71 related deaths during the pandemic.