Brunswick Town Hall. Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — Brunswick officials revoked the town’s emergency order Monday, leaving Gov. Janet Mills’ statewide guidelines as the only active emergency orders in town. 

With this change, local restaurants may now operate in a traditional takeout style, meaning people can once again enter the establishment. Businesses are still encouraged to limit service to curbside, but it is not required. Statewide social distancing and facial covering rules apply to employees and the public. 

“By eliminating our separate requirement, there will just be one set of rules,” Town Manager John Eldridge said, something he hopes will eliminate some lingering confusion among business owners.

“Part of the problem was that there were conflicting interpretations of what some of the restrictions were and how they apply,” he said. “Most (businesses) were trying to do the right thing. … There were some that genuinely thought they were complying but may not have been.”

The town declared a local state of emergency March 23, and instituted restrictions consistently more stringent than statewide requirements. 

Some of those stricter limitations included requiring restaurants only do curbside pickup or delivery, only allowing five people to be in a closed business at a time, limiting the number of children in a childcare setting to 12 and requiring all employees of public-facing businesses wear masks


Requirements initially prohibited nonessential retail from operating, but that was later amended to allow for contactless pickup.

April 30, the council unanimously to follow the governor’s plan for reopening the state’s economy and adopted Mills’ definition of essential and nonessential businesses to limit confusion.

Monday, the last few restrictions were lifted.

In a post on social media, town councilor Dan Ankeles said encouraging more movement and activity is “risky.” 

There are a lot of very vulnerable people self-isolating right now who are counting on the rest of us continuing to act responsibly under these relaxed rules,” he said. “Let’s all do our part to prevent or delay a resurgence. COVID is going to be with us for a long time, and we need to hold the line as a people until we get a vaccine to a large enough percentage of the population and/or until we have a juggernaut-sized testing program fully in place.”

There have now been 1,462 cases in Maine since mid-March – 1,328 confirmed cases and 134 probable cases, or individuals who likely have or had the virus based on symptoms and exposure but were never tested. Sixty-five people have died of COVID-19 in Maine.

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