Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday an acceleration of the state's re-opening plan, including dropping capacity limits for most public gatherings.

The success of the state's vaccination program has caused the governor to speed up the Moving Maine Forward Plan. Earlier this week, Mills announced that 70% of Maine adults have received at least their first COVID-19 vaccination.

The following changes will take place on May 24:

  • All capacity limits and requirements to physically distance in all public outdoor settings will be lifted
  • All capacity limits in public indoor venues will be lifted. Physical distancing requirements are also eliminated, except in settings where people are eating or drinking, and therefore would be removing their face coverings - such as indoor restaurants, bars, dining areas in camps or in congregate living facilities, and break rooms.

What is not changing:

  • Face coverings are still required in public indoor settings.

The Maine Department of Education will update their school-based protocols, separately from this announcement.

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"This change aligns with the latest science and makes sense for Maine at this stage, with more people getting vaccinated. We will continuously review our protocols" said Governor Mills. "The fact is, the more people get vaccinated, the faster we will be able to get back to normal."

During Thursday's press briefing, she went on to talk about the incentive program, that's offering things like Portland Pirates tickets, free fishing or hunting licenses, L.L. Bean gift cards, and more for people scheduling their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, starting on Monday.

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