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Maine CDC head: State not ready to loosen restrictions on out-of-state visitors, including Mass.

Dr. Nirav Shah]. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty/FILE)Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

Looks like Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents heading up to Maine for a getaway will have to quarantine upon arrival or produce proof of a negative coronavirus test for a bit longer.

Dr. Nirav D. Shah, head of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, told reporters during his regular briefing Tuesday that state officials hadn’t yet seen “anything that prompted us” to add more states to the list exempting visitors from COVID-19 protocols.

The current exempted states are New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, according to the Maine CDC website. Visitors from all other states must quarantine for 14 days unless they provide proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test collected within the prior 72 hours.


“As to Rhode Island and Massachusetts [being exempted], we’re not there yet,” Shah said.

He said officials are monitoring the data from other states to see if any of them can be added to the exempt list.

However, he said, “we haven’t made any final decisions” since “none of them really met the strict criteria we have” for exemptions.

Last week, Governor Janet Mills extended the state of emergency in Maine through Oct. 1. A state of emergency allows Maine to “draw down critical Federal resources and to deploy all available tools to respond to and contain COVID-19,” her office said in a statement.

“Thanks to the efforts of Maine people, who have largely abided by public health measures intended to keep us all safe, our state has been relatively successful in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the last few months," Mills said in the statement. “The outbreaks which we hear about in other states every day can sometimes feel far away from the relative safety of our state, but recent events prove that one little match can spark a fire that may be very difficult to put out.”


As of early Wednesday afternoon, Maine had logged 4,734 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, including 4,258 confirmed cases and 476 probable infections, the state CDC website said. The site said 134 people have died in Maine from the virus.

Travis Andersen can be reached at