Governor Janet Mills on November 5, 2020 issued an executive order requiring Mainers to wear face coverings in public no matter their distance from others.

That order comes amid a week of coronavirus cases increasing and transmission surging to levels not seen even in the earliest weeks of the pandemic. It’s the latest move from the Mills administration to tamp down on rising case levels. Last week Gov. Mills pushed back the reopening of bars and tasting rooms.

Under a previous executive order issued in July, Mills required Mainers to wear face coverings in public spaces only when physical distance is not easily maintained. This new order also requires business owners to prominently post signs about the face covering requirement, which was previously required only of large retail businesses.

“This deadly and dangerous virus is spreading all across our state,” Mills said Thursday. “Protect your family. Protect a health care worker. Protect the elderly. Wear your face covering. Save lives. It is that simple.”

The order applies to grocery and other retail stores, gyms and other athletic venues, theaters, pharmacies and other health care facilities, churches and other places of worship, public transportation, state, county and municipal offices, and outdoor spaces, such as sidewalks, parking lots and playgrounds.

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