Governor Janet Mills says indoor service at bars will not reopen on July 1st, as was originally planned.

The Mills administration announced on Monday that, given the elevated health risk presented by bars, along with major outbreaks in other states that have been linked to the reopening of bars, restarting of indoor service is postponed in Maine until further notice. Health officials say the challenges of physical distancing, as well the fact that people are unlikely to wear masks, and will likely speak at a louder volume, make indoor service at bars a risky situation. Bars are still allowed to conduct service to their customers in outdoor settings, where social distancing is possible.

"While we believe this is the most prudent step to protect the health and safety of Maine people," Mills said in a media release, "we recognize that it will frustrate some business and patrons. The Administration will work with these businesses to help them open for outdoor service to the extent they may be able to do so."

"As we learn more about how the virus spreads," Dr Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC said in the same release, "duration, and density - specifically being in close quarters inside, as is the case with most bars - clearly elevate the risk of virus transmission."

This decision was made following recent reports of COVID-19 outbreaks linked to the reopening of bars in states like Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Idaho.

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