BRUNSWICK — Brunswick’s salons, groomers, car dealerships and golf courses can open their doors Friday along with the others in the state after Brunswick town officials on Thursday voted unanimously to follow the governor’s plan for reopening the state’s economy. 

The town has had an emergency proclamation in place since March 23 that has consistently been stricter than the statewide restrictions. Some of those more stringent limitations, like requiring restaurants only do curbside pickup or delivery and not allowing customers to enter the business, and only allowing child care centers to have 12 children per group, still stand. 

With Brunswick’s vote Thursday, the town adopted Gov. Janet Mills’ definition of essential and non-essential businesses to limit confusion and all businesses that are currently allowed to be open may remain so. 

Monday, the council also voted to allow non-essential retail businesses to open for contactless delivery or pickup. The initial order prohibited retail and non-essential businesses from operating and allowed only one person in the establishment at a time. 

Tuesday, Mills released a multi-stage reopening plan for the state, with the first phase starting Friday.

Under this first stage, Mainers are also newly required to wear cloth face coverings “in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” effectively solving an issue the council struggled with for several weeks. Motions that would mandate the coverings failed twice, both times with a narrow 5-4 vote. 


According to the Portland Press Herald, this new mandate extends to grocery stores, retail stores, pharmacies and healthcare facilities as well as playgrounds, congested parking lots, lines for takeout service, bus stops and waiting areas and during transportation by taxis, ride-sharing, Uber, Lyft, buses and trains. 

The council’s requirement that all employees of indoor, public-serving businesses wear masks, passed April 21, is still effective regardless of whether social distancing is difficult to maintain.

The first businesses allowed to reopen are hair salons and barbershops, drive-in movie theaters, health clinics for elective procedures and nonessential appointments, car dealerships, car washes, golf courses and other outdoor-related businesses including marinas and state parks, as well as drive-in church services. 

In order to reopen, these businesses will have to follow the state guidelines and can receive a “badge” online to show their compliance. According to the Portland Press Herald, these badges are “intended to reassure consumers about patronizing the newly reopened businesses and to make sure the reopening doesn’t contribute to a resurgence of the coronavirus.” 

Some of the guidelines may include hair salons requiring clients wait outside in their cars or car dealerships reducing the number of customers allowed in the showroom. 

As of Thursday, there have been 1,095 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, in Maine, with 486 in Cumberland County and 19 in Sagadahoc County. The Maine CDC is reporting that 53 people have died from the disease.

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