Out-of-state travelers are stacking up in Vacationland this Memorial Day weekend and taking note of Maine’s progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Maine is leading the country as one of the top states in the nation in percentage of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Several out-of-state travelers in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport said they feel safe in Maine because of the high COVID-19 vaccination rate.
Timothy Horan, a first-time visitor to Kennebunk, said he looks to New England in terms of progress against the pandemic.
“I mean Maine, it feels safe. It feels like home for me,” he said.
With the car traffic and foot traffic picking up, some call it tourist season. Others said the business is still going to take some getting used to again.
“It’s still a little weird to not see people with masks, but I think that’s just normal anxiety after a pandemic,” Liz Anderson said.
Travelers we spoke with are taking note of the signs businesses are posting on their doors about mask wearing.
“It was nice to see on the doors, you know, if you’re vaccinated, don’t feel like you have to wear a mask,” Anderson said.
Others said they are continuing to wear a mask.
“We’re walking around outside, too, but we’re also still wearing our masks and social distancing when we can,” Katie Claudio said.
Travel hot spots such as Bar Harbor are also picking up visitors and business, according to Alf Anderson, executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
“I would say this year compared to 2020 has been about a 100 percent increase. Businesses have been booming and reporting better April’s than they’ve ever seen before. I think the same story will be heard for the month of May, and I know Acadia National Park just reported the busiest month of April they’ve ever seen before,” he said.
Story by Karah Brackin.