Maine finds unique solution to welcome visitors safely
AUGUSTA, Maine, June 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Maine has unveiled the Keep Maine Healthy plan, a multilayered strategy that offers an alternative to the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors. The plan's goal is to protect Maine people and visitors by reducing COVID-19 risks associated with travel, while supporting the local economy.
"We have come up with a plan that offers a unique solution to protect the health of Maine people and visitors, while allowing opportunities for safe tourism and supporting businesses," said Maine Department of Economic & Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson.
"Keep Maine Healthy" relies on three cornerstones:
- Testing as an Alternative to Quarantine: details the testing requirements for out of state visitors to forgo the 14-day quarantine.
- Increased Symptom Checking: outlines the state's plan to encourage symptom checks through state, local systems and the private sector.
- Supporting Local Public Health and Prevention Efforts: details how the state will partner with municipalities to develop and implement their own COVID-19 prevention and protection, incentivizing efforts by reimbursing municipal costs associated with public health education and prevention activities.
Maine's tourism industry faces unique challenges in the face of COVID-19: nearly half of Maine's summer tourists typically come from Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey where the prevalence of COVID-19, when adjusted for population, is eight to eleven times higher than Maine's. Additionally, Maine has the nation's highest percentage of housing that are vacation homes and a short summer season, meaning solutions like capacity constraints do not work.
Despite these distinctive challenges, Maine has worked on a solution that will allow the opportunity for visitors to enjoy Maine, support businesses and protect the health of Maine people.
Commissioner Johnson pointed to recent consumer sentiment studies that indicate people will travel to locations they feel are safe.
"The 'Keep Maine Healthy' plan is indicative of the core values of the Maine brand – resiliency, reliance on ingenuity, and the pristineness of our natural resources. Some of the very reasons visitors travel here," added Commissioner Johnson.
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SOURCE Maine Department Of Economic & Community Development