Mills Administration Postpones Reopening of Indoor Bar Service in Maine


Governor Janet T. Mills at a Recent Daily Briefing on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Outdoor Bar at “Thirsty Pig,” Exchange Street, Portland.

Outdoor Bar at Blythe & Burrows, Exchange Street, Portland.

Indoor bar service across Maine has been postponed indefinitely according to a press release issued by Governor Janet Mills office.  The reason is to continue to protect public health given the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission in such settings.

It had been anticipated that indoor bar service would resume on July 1st as part of the Mills Administration’s Stage 3.  However, given the elevated health risk presented by bars, along with major outbreaks in other states linked to the reopening of bars, the Administration is postponing indoor service until further notice.  Bars can still provide outdoor seated service to patrons and the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Questions will work closely and promptly with businesses to establish or expand their outside capacity.  The Administration said last week that it was evaluating the reopening of indoor bar service.

“This was a difficult but necessary decision given the increased public health risk and the outbreaks we have seen across the country associated with indoor service,” said Governor Mills.  “While we believe this is the most prudent step to protect the health and safety of Maine people, we recognize that it will frustrate some businesses and patrols.  The Administration will work with these businesses to help them open for outdoor service to the extent they may be able to do so.  Meanwhile, we will continue to monitor the prevalence of this deadly virus and take whatever steps necessary to protect people as we continue the gradual reopening process.”

“Recent outbreaks related to indoor bar service in multiple states raises concerns,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.”

There are no other updates to Stage 3 at this time.  As of now, Maine has reopened the majority of its economy of the Restarting Maine’s Economy plan.