Photo by Salt Water New England

Friday, May 15, 2020

Will you visit Maine this summer?

The lowest rung on the social ladder is the “tourist.” - Judson Hale, Inside New England  
“We depend on the summer people here for our very lives.”- Mayor Vaughn, Jaws 
For many, Maine is a favorite summer destination.  Family cottages, camps, and other annual returns to familiar places provide continuity across the years.

2020, as it is wont to do, is challenging traditions. Businesses must adapt and survive.
“Staying closed isn’t an option for a community that’s 90 percent dependent on tourism.”
A new executive order permits hospitality businesses to begin taking reservations for June 1 bookings, with non-residents asked to quarantine for 14 days on an honor system.
But what will you do?  Will you depend on the honorable tourist?

Is a visit to Maine this summer in the works, and how?  (Or Nantucket, the Vineyard, or Cape?)

43 comments:

  1. Not this year. But that has more to do with a family reunion in Canada this summer than anything to do with Maine.

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  2. Sadly, no. We have canceled all plans this summer and are sticking close to home. We will make the most of the backyard, go hiking at state and county parks and do a few day trips, at most.

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  3. Yes, we will likely go to Maine, definitely go to the Cape and hopefully go to Rhode Island. We're lucky in that we can do all three as day trips, but will spend at least a week on the Cape in September. We were supposed to be in Maine for a wedding and the boat show, neither of which is happening. Sigh.

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    1. Patsy, how will do Maine as a day trip without a two week quarantine?

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    2. Following up to my previous comment, the quarantine is for anyone from out of state visiting, not just for overnight stays.


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    3. (I'm not making the rules, so you know what they say about shooting the messenger...)

      “For any visitor coming into the state, they should be prepared from the moment they arrive not to need to go outside," Dr. Shah said.

      https://wgme.com/news/coronavirus/maine-cdc-clarifies-quarantine-rules-for-out-of-staters

      MAINE, USA — Anyone coming to Maine during the COVID-19 pandemic will be greeted with a message: prepare to self-quarantine for 14 days.

      In April, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Governor Janet Mills issued the executive order.

      "You drive around and you see more cars in yards MA. CT, RI, NY" said Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam on Monday.

      She says the two-week quarantine is not deterring a lot of people from coming here.

      "People are coming here as their areas are harder hit than ours."

      Because of that, there has been a lot of criticism from residents about whether people from out of state are following the quarantine guidelines.

      Others are simply asking, what are the guidelines?

      https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/questions-answered-guidelines-for-14-day-self-quarantine-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19/97-5208d830-b83d-428c-a913-d849ceba33c1

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    4. We won't go anywhere until the 14 day quarantine is lifted in ME & RI. Janet Mills is going to be under extraordinary pressure to figure out a solution. Gina Raimondo has started lifting some restrictions, although not the quarantine. I expect to be able to travel in New England by the end of the summer.

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    5. I am hoping we'll be able to travel unimpeded throughout New England by summer's end, as well.

      Averyl - thanks for posting the current restrictions. These are helpful. Even though we may not like them, it's important to be aware and to follow them. Not only do I not want to get ill, I also don't want to give it to others should I become infectious.

      Until the virus, I had been going up to Portland monthly. I meet with a group of professors and graduate students in my field, teaching them some of my practical skills and learning from them current research and new advances. We've been doing it via Zoom during the confinement, but we sure miss the face-to-face connections and especially pizza at Flatbread.

      Since my trips are only for the day and occasionally overnight, I'll be waiting for the 14-day self-quarantine to be over, assuming it expires based on science and good planning. If it is terminated because the state's leaders succumb to political pressures, I won't be going back anytime soon.

      Aiken

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    6. Thank you, Aiken. Perhaps once it's safe and all clear to do so you, me and Patsy can meet in Maine for tea or a drink. :)

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    7. Averyl,

      I think that would be wonderful and would love to do it. Thanks for making the suggestion.

      Aiken

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    8. Aiken and Averyl - you are on! I would love that!

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  4. No I already cancelled two trips this summer. Too much uncertainty. I do so hope restaurants, ballet, opera, Broadway open soon. I feel so sorry and sad for the chefs staff dancers singers musicians. This has gone on way too long.

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  5. sticking closer to home this summer. Avalon, NJ.

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  6. Yes, we have a house in Maine and can drive up without having to worry about being exposed to others.

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    1. The issue is to prevent travelers from bringing Covid to Maine. The fourteen day quarantine is even for people with homes in Maine who live here part-time.

      By the way, I have no interest in being the quarantine police, and even our police aren't set up to do that kind of enforcement. Because I live here I'm bombarded with the minutia. I'm just passing along something you may have already known but many do not.

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    2. Yes, please don't think you can come up to Maine for the day - you have to bring enough groceries for two weeks and quarantine yourself for two weeks. That means not leaving your house or yard for two weeks for any reason whatsoever.

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  7. I live in a resort town in northern Michigan. Our concern, besides maxing out our health services, is that non residents will also be taking our food supplies and essential cleaning/health products. The shelves are bare now. This shortage can’t go on much longer. We need to think of what’s best for the Common Good. We’re all in this together.

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  8. No, we will continue to shelter in place this summer. Better safe than sorry. We are trying to perfect the art of living in the moment. My brother sadly cancelled his annual visit to Port Clyde, as well.

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  9. We better be allowed in at some point. We own a house there and it has some significant mechanical problems due to extended power outages during recent severe spring wind and snowstorms. These problems can't be fixed without our being there and worry about them has us on edge. We have a car registered there with Maine plates and we have a freezer full of food which we can use without taxing local supplies. It is not our intention to hurt a soul. We will be cautious, but enough is enough. Taxpayers cannot be denied the use of their private property, let alone the chance to maintain and secure said property.

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    1. I'm not aware of any Maine orders barring people from coming to their homes as long as they quarantine.

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    2. Are you planning to be the one who enforces these policies?

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    3. @Anonymous copied and pasted from my comment above: I have no interest in being the quarantine police, and even our police aren't set up to do that kind of enforcement. Because I live here I'm bombarded with the minutia. I'm just passing along something you may have already known but many do not.

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  10. I live just outside of NYC, and have a vacation home in VT. We've not visited Vermont since the lockdown began. Even though we would most certainly obey the quarantine and would have no need to leave our home, we still feel that going there isn't the right thing to do yet. We realize the mere sight of our out of state plates would cause uneasiness amongst some of the locals, and understand why.
    We are very much hoping for some semblance of normalcy as we approach the fall and next ski season.

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  11. We reserved our B&B room on the Cape for a two week stay for this July nearly a year ago. It remains unclear whether the towns on Cape will permit restaurants and businesses to operate, current conditions are intolerable and if they do not change we will have to cancel. Health care facilities on the Outer Cape are nearly nonexistent, a long trip to Hyannis or Boston or Providence should we have health problems.
    We have been extremely vigilant and hygienic and considerate of social distancing at home, living in rural area with many outdoor options away from crowds. I am very confident that we would not be the source of virus spreading wherever we visit. Commercial Street Provincetown or Main Street Wellfleet will be more crowded and present a completely different risk factor.

    We will wait and see until late June before making a final go or no-go decision.

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  12. No, not this year. Cancelled our trip. Until they lift all the restrictions, it doesn't make any sense to visit, unless we owned our own camp. But, even there, it wouldn't make any sense if we're still living in 1980's Moscow (long lines and empty shelves). Even if they "partially" ease restrictions, it will be too complicated (and disappointing) if restaurants have to sharply limit capacity, and the only way you can eat at a restaurant is with a reservation. No thank you. We'll wait until we're "back to normal" before traveling and eating out.

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  13. Plenty to do on my native Great South Bay however I feel as though I'll be going through some kind of New England withdrawal by the end of summer! At least I can "visit" SWNE for my Down East fix!

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  14. We live in Naples, FL, which has been lightly hit. We have a month rental in a beautiful home in Chatham scheduled for September. We are leaning toward cancel. My wife has a long history with cancer and a suppressed immune system as a result of a stem cell transplant. On the other hand, Mass General is her hospital. We live as hermits in Naples now afraid of everything. Too cautious? Who knows, Confusion over flying or driving. The Naples oncologist said “Go ahead” today. What to do?

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  15. Our best friend has a framing shop here (in our Maine coastal town). She has MS and is immuno-compromised. A customer who owns a summer house called to pick up some artwork they had framed over the winter. Our friend was glad to hear they'd arrived and asked how long they'd been in town. It had only been a few days so she asked if a local friend (or someone who'd quarantined already) might come pick the item up for them if they had a large enough vehicle. She would help them load it up. The customer agreed... then sent her husband who hadn't finished his quarantine either. Inexplicable. The customer couldn't wait a while to get the artwork??

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  16. Probably not Maine, unfortunately, but I have an aged mother and stepmother up north I wish to see--following safety rules of course. They are being brave but are concerned about their health, aging, isolation. Also a mother in law in similar straights. She has land and larger antebellum home so she feels less "boxed in", but she too--don't we all--misses family and friends dropping by.

    Grateful for the rules and common sense I am seeing generally, and taking precautions to protect myself. The dirty looks in the local grocery from certain quarters because I wear a mask and exercise distance make me sad for those who are inconsiderate, however, I plan to live through this, thank you very much.

    Thanks for letting me ramble. Stay safe all. Prost!

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    1. I hope your moms are both doing well. It is tough not being able to be with family. I think of it as my sacrifice for them and, at the same time, they are sacrificing for me. It does help to take the sting out of it a bit, at least for me.

      It's good to see someone express gratitude for rules and common sense. Sometimes in these unusual times, I can feel my mooring tethers loosened a wee bit too much. It's a comment like this that makes be realize, oh yes, this storm will pass; things will be okay.

      Aiken

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  17. We always go for late Fall, and Winter, and plan to do so as we have for the last 34 years! Thank you so much.

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  18. We rent a large home on the water each summer for two weeks on MDI (First two weeks of Aug). We are planning to go.

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  19. My wife and I actually live at the Marshall Point lighthouse in Port Clyde and so we do not feel the need or desire to venture much farther afield.

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  20. My last comment: if you love Maine, please don't come. We'll meet again, just not this summer.
    https://www.pressherald.com/2020/05/17/bill-nemitz-the-benefit-of-a-maine-lobster-versus-the-cost-of-a-maine-life/

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  21. We booked a couple of weeks in Maine back in November for late August, which we are hoping is going to be viable. With that being said, we purchased a house in Maine, rather unexpectedly and sight unseen, a couple of months ago. The house needs extensive work and won't be ready for occupancy until fall. My husband and I both have the upmost respect for the quarantine orders and, as much as we would like to, won't be visiting our home until it's safe to do so. If the quarantine comes down to a week duration or less, we will likely travel back and forth throughout the summer to observe the restoration of our home, which we would dearly love to see in person before we move in.

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  22. We were hoping to take my daughter on a series of college tours in northern New England this summer, but that is looking less likely. Our trip to Providence and Boston over spring break was cancelled. She is interested in looking at a couple of schools in Maine, but we couldn't pull off a quarantine as part of that trip. So we wouldn't go if that is required.

    We have NJ license plates, and I figure those are the least welcome license plates up there. Though in truth in New Jersey we have all been supposedly stuck at home for almost two months.

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  23. One of the few places in the country that was actually able to control access is Dare County, North Carolina, which consists mostly of islands. They blocked the three or four roads into the county and even denied entry to non-resident property owners without special permits. According to the county website, they did have one death and five or six who were sick with the virus. But the restrictions have now been removed. They close access for other reasons, too, now and then, usually after a bad storm.

    The family had a cottage there for several decades but no longer do. We had to cancel our planned trip to Hawaii for the summer, so now we're thinking of a trip to the Outer Banks. It's not Maine but it's still nice.

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  24. I'm headed to my Rock in the middle of the St. Lawrence...

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  25. We are sticking close to home and I'm trying to not think about missing our annual autumn trip to Martha's Vineyard. Apparently a lot of the spring weddings were moved to the fall so there is very little vacancy at our favorite place. And, we can't figure out how to make the 15 hour drive without having to make the necessary pit stops. There is just too much uncertainty about what to expect in Sept/Oct too. It must be terrible to be a small innkeeper or restaurant owner these days. However, did read earlier RV rentals are at an all time high so at least some people will be on the road.

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  26. Wearing a mask since 2015 for health reasons per doctors orders;
    I was given a choice: which side of the dirt do you want to be on?

    Puts many things in true perspective.

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