AUGUSTA, Maine —
Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday announced that she is imposing a curfew for many Maine businesses, including restaurants, due to the spread of COVID-19.
Mills said that beginning Friday and lasting through Dec. 6, all outdoor and indoor amusement venues, movie theaters, performing arts venues, casinos, and businesses that provide seated food and drink service, including social clubs, restaurants and bars and tasting rooms currently open for outdoor service, will close for the night by 9 p.m.
The governor said the limit on hours is being implemented to limit extended social gatherings as more students and family members return to Maine for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mills said her actions are similar to other measures implemented in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and New York.
“This targeted and temporary step will reduce extended gatherings while keeping the businesses open. Other steps may be necessary in the coming weeks if we do not get this virus under control. I ask all Maine people, please wear your face covering, wash your hands, watch your distance and avoid hosting or attending gatherings with friends and loved ones unless it is absolutely necessary. Returning to normal life sometime next year first requires us to survive the holidays this year,” Mills said.
The governor said her administration is working with the Maine Attorney General’s Office to provide guidance to businesses on the current public health protocols and their right to enforce them.
House Republicans issued a statement critical of the governor’s announcement, saying the last minute notice hurts businesses and their employees.
“Maine’s curfew is earlier than the states referenced by the Governor. This last minute, one-size-fits-all, curfew penalizes every part of Maine unnecessarily,” Assistant House Republican Leader Joel Stetkus said.