SOUTH PORTLAND — Two new emergency regulations that the city of South Portland implemented as precautionary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic restrict short-term rentals and travelers from out of state.

City Manager Scott Morelli announced the emergency regulations after Mayor Katherine Lewis declared a state of emergency during the week of March 23. According to an April 2 press release from the city, the regulations are meant to ensure the health and safety of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of April 3, anyone passing through South Portland from outside the state or country must self-quarantine for 14 days, said the release.

According to the press release, “This self-quarantine is stricter than the city’s stay at home order and requires an individual to stay in their quarantine location for the entirety of the 14-day period. These individuals are not allowed to go to work, travel to/from an essential activity as defined by Gov. Mills’ Executive Order No. 28, or use public transportation.

“The only allowable reason for leaving during this period is to seek medical attention. If these individuals have symptoms of, or have tested positive for, COVID-19 they must remain in quarantine – even if past 14 days – unless a medical professional determines they require hospitalization.”

The updated regulations also prohibit short-term rentals until at least April 30, said the release.

According to the regulation, allowance for short-term rentals, including those from out of state, is now limited to cases that involve someone housing a homeless individual, a health care professional in South Portland who is assisting with the Covid-19 outbreak, an individual who may need to self-isolate from family or is being quarantined after testing positive for Covid-19, public safety individuals, or victims of domestic violence.

The regulation was updated on April 6 to include the exception for housing those engaged in essential business operations.

Previous emergency regulations, which includes a stay at home order, remain in effect, said the press release. The entire list of regulations is at www.southportland.org under the COVID-19 updates section.

“These additional regulations to protect South Portlanders from contracting COVID-19 are consistent with
actions being taken by our neighboring communities,” said Morelli. “Together these restrictions provide a stronger regional response to limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus. My decision was based on feedback from city councilors, members of our local board of health, and other local officials. I appreciate their guidance.”

Morelli and Joshua Reny, assistant city manager, asked that residents check the Maine CDC website on www.maine.gov for more details about the virus.

“We also recommend taking precautionary measures like a person would for cold and the flu,” said the press release. “Examples include staying home when you are sick, covering your cough and sneeze (into your arm), and practicing good hand washing with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.”

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