Lodging FAQs from the Maine Office of Tourism

Posted April 16, 2020

 

 

GENERAL LODGING

Q: Please clarify that lodging can take phone only reservations for April -- only for those types of people listed in the order--critical infrastructure, health care workers.

A: Yes, the only April reservations they can take are for health care workers and critical infrastructure.

 

Q: Can you clarify what reservations area allowable for April?

A: All online reservations for April arrivals are suspended. Lodging providers may only take phone reservations for April arrival of health care workers and critical infrastructure.

 

Q: What about guests that are already in-house?

A: During the month of April, guests who are already on property may remain on property until the end of their current reservation but are prohibited from extending their reservation.

 

Q: Online reservations for everyone will be prohibited for the duration of the order. Can the online systems remain open to take reservations beyond April?

A: Yes, online reservations for arrivals after April 30 are acceptable.

 

Q: Do the properties have to get approval from the state to house allowed guests if a reservation comes in or is it the honor system?

A: If the guests are on the allowed list (Paragraph 5 of the Executive Order) they do not need additional approval.

 

Q: Do properties need prior approval by the state to take such guests?

A: Same as above, no need for approval if they are on the list.

 

Q: As an example for the 2 questions above-- if Maine General brings in 10 nurses, would it be up to Maine General to find an open property and then the property would get permission from the state?

A: Maine General should find an open property but do not need permission for hospital workers.

 

Q: Do all in-house reservations that are in-house after Sunday (April 5) at noon need to check out or can they stay until checkout date?

A: The order allows them to stay until the end of their planned stay. It does not allow them to extend their stay beyond the last day they initially reserved.

 

Q: Extended stays that are in-house can stay, correct?

A: If the person is already at the hotel with a long-term reservation they can stay. If they leave the state and want to come back, even if they haven’t cancelled their reservation, they will need to quarantine for 14 days.

 

Q: Can truckers with upcoming reservations still come?

A: Truckers of food and supplies for essential services would be critical infrastructure and are allowable.

 

Q: We can take Phone reservation for essential reservations looking for rooms after Sunday at noon?

A: Yes, you can take phone reservation for essential personal any time.

 

Q: I have properties that house commercial and cargo airline crews - I would think this falls under essential but it is not expressly stated.

A: They would be essential.

 

Q: I have other properties that house crews from local industry (like Dragon Industries) and University Students that do not have alternate housing - where does this fit? These are folks that have been here and are not traveling at this time.

A: If they are already at the property, they can continue their stay. The order indicates that people can’t extend their stay. The industry crews will need to stay. Once they leave, they will need to quarantine if they want to come back.

 

Q: I have several properties that have agreed to house people who are either a first responder, hospital worker OR people who need to be in isolation or quarantine – Is it ok for these people to stay?

A: Yes. That was expressly called out in the order. They won’t have any issues and don’t need any paperwork for that.

 

Q: I have a few apartments that are within a block of Maine Medical Center that I advertise for short term renting through Airbnb. I have blocked off April's dates to comply with this order but have had multiple people from the medical field contacting me to stay in these apartments so they don’t have to endanger their families. I am just wondering if I am interpreting this order correctly: that I cannot accept these requests for reservations since they were done online.

A: As we continue to focus on the public health and safety of all Mainers, the Governor issued Executive Order 34 on April 3rd, 2020. This order requires all lodging operations and accommodations (including AirBnb), to be closed effective Sunday April 5th, 2020 at 12:00pm. Lodging properties may not book reservations for arrival during the month of April except for the following purposes:

• Housing vulnerable populations, including children in emergency placements, persons at risk of domestic violence, and homeless individuals as permitted by the State.

• Providing accommodations for health care workers, or other workers deemed necessary to support public health, public safety or critical infrastructure.

• Use of lodging properties as self-quarantine or self-isolation facilities as arranged by the State.

• Limited verifiable extenuating circumstances for the care and safety of residents as otherwise approved by the State.

On-line reservations shall be suspended, and lodging providers shall post a prominent notice on their web platforms to advice potential guests that reservations for lodging in Maine, as allowed above, shall be accepted only by phone. Therefore, online reservations cannot be accepted for health care workers.

 

Q: I’m an innkeeper. Could you please clarify if my housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and kitchen workers would then be considered “essential” and coming to work here at the Inn would not violate the Governor’s Stay at Home order or the state of emergency?

A: Property maintenance and cleaning of hotels is considered an essential business, so you can have your maintenance and cleaning workers on-site performing these essential tasks. We strongly urge you to implement physical distancing measures and provide employees with the resources that they need to maintain a safe work environment. The best thing that Maine people can do to protect their health is to practice physical distancing and take the same preventive measures that avoid catching a cold. Wash your hands often for 20 seconds. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you are sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Call ahead to a health care professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness.

 

Q: We are a seasonal lodging business in the process of preparing for the coming season (we didn’t have a chance to open yet). Are we allowed to do property maintenance? Can I consider Spring cleaner a maintenance step to prepare the property?

A: The Governor’s Executive Order allows for essential services including construction, maintenance and property management to continue. Therefore you may do spring cleaning to prepare the property for when it does open. We strongly urge you to implement physical distancing measures and provide employees with the resources that they need to maintain a safe work environment. The best thing that Maine people can do to protect their health is to practice physical distancing and take the same preventive measures that avoid catching a cold. Wash your hands often for 20 seconds. Cover coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you are sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Call ahead to a health care professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness.

 

Q: I am writing from a rental agency. Can you clarify for me the definition for short term rentals that are shut down until April 30th?

A: For the purposes of this Executive Order, short-term rentals are defined as any rental up to 6 month long.

 

CAMPGROUNDS

Q: Many seasonal campers are Maine residents that have an RV at a campground in Maine and they go back and forth between their home and the campground during the season. For example, they stay at the campground on weekends and at their homes during the week. Can they travel back and forth between their home and the campground?

A: Residents cannot go back and forth between their home and RV because there is a “stay at home” order for all but essential services. Going to your seasonal RV for the weekend does not fall within the essential service guidelines.

 

Q: Many seasonal campers are non-residents that leave their RV in Maine for the entire season and come to the campground on weekends. Can they travel back and forth between their home in another state and their seasonal rental in Maine?

A: Non-residents cannot come to Maine because there is a 14-day quarantine period for anyone traveling to Maine from another state and they could not comply with the quarantine order if they only want to come to Maine on weekends and then return home.

 

Q: Many campers don’t own homes and live full-time in their RVs, spending half the year in another state (like Florida) and the other half of the year in Maine. Can they come to Maine?

A: We prefer people don’t enter Maine, however seasonal campers who are full-timers and cannot extend their reservation at a park outside of the state may come but must quarantine at their campsite for 14 days. They should be prepared with 14-days of supplies prior to their arrival in Maine because they will be unable to leave the campground until they have met the quarantine requirement.

 

Q: We are a large camper rental dealership. Can we rent RVs to doctors and nurses so that they can self-isolate from their families?

A: As we continue to focus on the public health and safety of all Mainers, the Governor issued Executive Order 34 on April 3rd, 2020. This order requires all lodging operations and accommodations to be closed effective Sunday April 5th, 2020 at 12:00pm but provides for workers classified as Essential Services to stay in Maine accommodations while performing their duties. The Executive Order allows for lodging for healthcare workers. Doctors and nurses may rent RVs to isolate or to stay in Maine to administer health care services.

 

GENERAL TRAVEL

Q: Second Home Owner asking to come stay in their second home.

A. Thank you for your questions regarding travel to your second home. Currently Maine is under a “stay healthy at home” order, therefore we prefer people don’t enter Maine. However, people who come to Maine to stay in their second home must quarantine in their home for 14 days. You should be prepared with 14-days of supplies prior to their arrival in Maine so that you do not have to go out until the quarantine requirement has been met.

 

Q: With the new "stay at home" order I would like some clarification. I own a house in Denmark, Maine. My wife and I spend half our time in Maine and half in Massachusetts. Does this order prevent her and I returning to our home in Denmark if we are the only ones traveling in our vehicle and stopping once we get to our home in Denmark?

A: Currently Maine is under a “stay at home” order, therefore we prefer people don’t enter Maine or delay travel until the order is lifted. However, people who come to Maine to stay in their second home must quarantine in their home for 14 days. You should be prepared with 14- days of supplies prior to their arrival in Maine so that you do not have to go out until the quarantine requirement has been met. If you cannot quarantine in your second home for 14 days, you should not be traveling to Maine at this time.

 

Q: We have an off-grid camp in Maine. We usually start planning to open it during the month of April. We are in N.H. We would only be there a couple of days then come home, but also want to stay within the terms of the COVID 19 rules. We will not be shopping or leaving camp other than to arrive and leave, until it is ok to do so. Would this type of travel be permitted?

A: Currently Maine is under a "stay at home" order, therefore only individuals that are classified as essential services under the Governor’s Executive Order are permitted to travel in Maine. You cannot come to Maine for just two days. If you travel to your second home/camp in Maine, you must quarantine in places for 14 days. You should be prepared with 14-days of supplies prior to their arrival in Maine so that you do not have to go out until the quarantine requirement has been met