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A state agency on Thursday previewed a new app that it said should help attract out-of-state tourists and make them feel safe in the state.
The app, which is available online but is still being improved, lets tourists pledge that they have met testing requirements and check regularly for coronavirus symptoms. Gov. Janet Mills on Monday announced a testing option in lieu of a quarantine for visitors starting July 1. Hoteliers have criticized both the quarantine and testing options, saying they hinder visitors to Maine amid a tourism season already devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development showed the app during its weekly virtual update with businesses.
The app lets tourists electronically self-certify that they have tested negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of visiting the state. They can then email, text or present the online document at the hotel or inn where they are staying. Tourists also can use the app to self-monitor for symptoms while in the state. The electronic pledge can be taken on the “Pledge to Protect ME” website before arriving instead of filling out a paper form at the hotel.
The app was developed by a group of tech volunteers in Maine in partnership with a national health technology company, said Martha Bentley, manager of small business and entrepreneurial development at the economic development department.
Visitors can sign up to self monitor using the “Get Well Loop” that prompts them to take electronic check-ins for symptoms of COVID-19. They answer questions and if they have symptoms, are guided to a point-of-care.
“We’re trying to make it much easier to welcome people to Maine,” Bentley said.
She said visitors can enroll in the Get Well Loop and certify that they have tested negative or that they have quarantined. If they are in a low-symptom area such as New Hampshire or Vermont, they can enter their ZIP code. Visitors from those two states are exempt from testing and quarantining as of this Friday.
Bentley said the app also can be used by realtors who are working with out-of-state clients, rental agencies and tour companies. Employees in Maine also can use the symptom-checking tool to assure they are healthy.
Watch: Janet Mills announces changes to June 1 reopening phase