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3/25/2020 - Clarifications on Governor's Executive Order and Regulations for Businesses

We recognize that this is a difficult time for many, including our local business community. Yesterday Governor Mills issued an executive order which requires the statewide closure of some types of businesses until at least April 8, 2020. The City wants to provide clarification and information regarding differences between Governor Mills’ executive order and the City’s previous emergency regulations for businesses. The Governor’s order is found here: https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/sites/maine.gov.governor.mills/files/inline-files/An%20Order%20Regarding%20Essential%20Businesses%20and%20Operations%20.pdf

The Governor’s Executive Order supersedes the previous City order, and is different in several important ways that we want to bring to your attention:

  1. Restaurants offering carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage can remain open. The Governor’s order appears to be more permissive than the previous City order, as the City order did not allow customers to enter the restaurant or food service establishment to order or to pick up their food and beverage. Bangor establishments that have eliminated customers entering the premises to order and pick up their food may now be able to relax that if they wish (and can maintain social distancing inside). The full text of the Governor’s food and beverage service emergency order can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/sites/maine.gov.governor.mills/files/inline-files/Executive%20Order%20to%20Protect%20Public%20Health%20.pdf

  2. Interpretations of the Governor’s order are handled by the state. If the function of your business is not listed in the order, but you believe that it is essential, you may request designation as an essential business at https://www.maine.gov/essentialservice or contact business.answers@maine.gov for questions.

  3. Violations of the state order can carry penalties including the potential for loss of business licensure, fines, and jail. This is different than the City’s previous order, violation of which would have led to civil penalties only. The City’s code enforcement team may visit businesses that remain open to share information about the state order, and encourage compliance. Enforcement of the order and violations will be handled by the state and law enforcement.

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development should be considered the primary resource for questions, clarification, and information on business operations related to the Governor’s executive order. https://www.maine.gov/decd/