Seven groups representing different facets of Maine’s tourism and hospitality industry sent an open letter to Maine Governor Janet Mills Tuesday urging the governor to remove the requirement that out-of-state travelers visiting Maine quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. The letter also called on the governor to trust Maine businesses to responsibly reopen their doors and to work with them to develop a reopening plan that “makes sense for Maine’s safety, and Maine’s economic future.”
“Maine’s tourism economy is on the verge of collapse and we need your help,” it reads in part.
The open letter was co-signed by HospitalityMaine, Retail Association of Maine, Maine Tourism Association, Ski Maine Association, Visit Portland Maine, Visit Greater Bangor Maine and the Maine Campground Owners.
The full letter can be read below:
Dear Governor Mills,
As the tourism focused industries in Maine, we’d like to thank you for your leadership during this time. Now we’d like you to turn that leadership toward a critical part of Maine’s economic health.
Maine’s tourism economy is on the verge of collapse and we need your help.
Maine is a vacation destination and our summertime visitors, especially, provide year-round economic stability and well-being for thousands of Maine families.
We know this because we represent the largest single industry in Maine’s economy. We represent an industry that sustains over 110,000 jobs, generates nearly $9 billion in sales, and contributes over $600 million in taxes to the state’s economy each year.
It doesn’t stop there.
Our businesses and employees work with and support thousands of other Maine businesses. From fishing and farming to technology and finance, the interconnectedness of our Maine economy has never been more visible than now, during this pandemic.
Visitors Need To Feel Welcomed
We need to begin, today, making the future brighter for Maine residents. We need to begin repairing the economic health of Maine’s people now.
In order to do so, Maine’s visitors need to feel welcomed. Visitors need to know that they can safely visit Maine this summer without a quarantine.
We have done our part as you’ve asked. We’ve closed our businesses. We’ve practiced physical distancing. We’ve looked out for the well being of our family, friends and neighbors.
In turn, our pledge to you and to the people of Maine is to combine our years of industry expertise and our deep and abiding passion for our great state to create a conscientious path to reopen our tourism and hospitality businesses now.
Moving forward, we promise to:
- Build, practice, and enforce smart, health and safety protocols that make sense for each business type that supports your administration’s checklists
- Establish industry-wide protocols for monitoring the health of all staff before they meet or greet our guests or customers
- Work with municipalities and state agencies to ensure open, regular communication
Our Plan Of Responsibility
We take the responsibility of our economic impact on this state seriously. We know that each day we aren’t able to move forward means another frontline worker who doesn’t have a job, another business at risk of not reopening.
We have begun the work that will allow our industry to reasonably re-open:
- This plan follows CDC guidelines
- Ensures a safe environment for workers and guests alike
- Protects the health of our communities in every way possible
Maine’s businesses and industries are ready to be responsible. And we, like you, are asking the people of Maine to be responsible.
Now we need you to trust in our commitment to one another and let us be responsible
Please Remove The 14 Day Quarantine
Governor Mills, please consider our appeal to remove the 14 day quarantine restriction and instead, work with our industry’s most trusted leaders to develop a reopening plan that makes sense for Maine’s safety, and Maine’s economic future.
From the western majestic mountains to the scenic coastline, from our Canadian borders to the Kittery bridge, it’s time for all of Maine to get back to work.
And to do so safely and responsibly.