Augusta, MAINE – The Mills Administration announced today an adjustment to the limit on large gatherings for outdoor activities from 50 to 100 people, effective August 1, 2020. Under the increase, however, no more than 5 people are allowed per 1,000 square feet in order to maintain appropriate physical distancing.
“Recent scientific evidence gives us a better understanding of the relative safety of outdoor activities, as compared to indoor activities,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. “We continue to welcome opportunities for Maine people and businesses to interact in ways that the science indicates pose less risk. Physical distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene remain vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Maine as we take this step.”
The adjustment in the outdoor gathering limit is in line with Maine’s evidence-based approach to COVID-19 restrictions and reflects a growing number of studies that indicate outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, as discussed during yesterday’s Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention media briefing.
The gathering limit for indoor activities remains unchanged at 50 people. Additionally, the requirement to wear face coverings at these gatherings remains unchanged. Studies demonstrate that face coverings, such as masks or shields, can significantly reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
“We continue to make progress in safely re-opening Maine’s economy,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “With nearly every business sector re-opened, the Administration will work hard to support Maine businesses while remaining vigilant in protecting the health of Maine people.”
The announcement follows the release of an updated COVID-19 Prevention Checklist last Friday by the Department of Economic and Community Development for seated outdoor spectator events, such as professional sports or concerts. The updated checklist, devised by public health experts, allows for up to four zones of 50 people in each zone. Zones must be separated with physical barriers to prevent intermingling between zones, have separate entrances and exits, bathrooms, and concessions. The change announced today does not impact these requirements.
The vast majority of Maine’s economy has been reopened under the Mills Administration’s Restarting Maine’s Economy plan.