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Sunny weather and looser business restrictions might lead Mainers to head out over Memorial Day weekend, which typically starts the tourist season. But everyday activities are going to look different as the state cautiously moves forward in its economic reopening.
Restaurants in much of Maine, as well as campgrounds and outdoor activities, are open this weekend for Maine residents. Visitors from out-of-state are not permitted to go out unless they have completed the 14-day travel quarantine since arriving in Maine.
Here is your guide to planning your day, night or weekend out while abiding by current coronavirus-related public health precautions.
Going out to eat
Restaurants in 12 counties — all but Cumberland, York, Penobscot and Androscoggin — were permitted to open for dine-in service Monday but still have to follow distancing and public health measures that alter the dining experience. Seating is reduced due to a requirement to space tables 6 feet apart from one another. It is recommended that diners call ahead first and many restaurants that would not normally require it are requiring it now.
If you have been missing buffets, you are going to have to wait. Restaurants have been advised to minimize self-service for food and drink to prevent many people from touching the same set of utensils. Additionally, parties are limited to eight people, according to state guidelines.
If there is a wait when you arrive, only one member per party can wait in the waiting area; everyone else should stay outside or in the car. Children must remain seated during the meal — play areas and shared toys are not allowed.
You do not need to wear a face covering while seated at your table. But you should still bring yours — the state guidelines ask that patrons wear masks when congregating in spaces where social distancing is difficult, such as a waiting area, or when going to the bathroom.
Prepare to leave a name and phone number for each dining party with the restaurant. They are required to keep it for contact tracing purposes, if it later turns out that you might have been exposed to the coronavirus while at the restaurant.
Most state parks reopened May 1, although 10 beach parks remain closed until June. Some of the parks that are open have reduced parking capacity in order to prevent crowding; check online before you go. Acadia National Park remains closed.
Golf and disc golf have been permitted statewide since May 1. But there are limits on who can golf where. Members can play at the club where they are members; otherwise, people can only play golf in the county they live in, according to state guidelines. People from different households cannot share the same golf cart unless there are plexiglass barriers between seats, and tee times must be booked in advance.
Guided outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing, are also allowed in all counties, but overnight trips are not permitted. All participants on a trip must be from the same household, unless it is possible to maintain physical distancing at all times, according to state guidelines.
Thinking about camping?
The state announced earlier this week that campgrounds and RV parks would be allowed to open to Maine residents on Friday, in time for Memorial Day weekend vacations. But campers still have to abide by a number of public health precautions.
Reservations are required, and anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms is advised not to camp. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
Campground playgrounds are closed. While swimming pools are allowed to remain open, visitors must follow physical distancing rules, while hot tubs, spas and water parks are supposed to stay close. Beaches and lakes are open, but beachgoers must physically distance themselves from other households.
Watch: Who can make reservations at Maine hotels next month?