This is what Maine’s lodging businesses must do to reopen

Thu, 05/14/2020 - 3:00pm

    Lodging businesses across the state can reopen for beginning June 1, so long as they follow a set of guidelines (appearing below), and can begin accepting reservations for residents and non-residents of Maine effective immediately. 

    Here’s what those establishments must do before opening. 


    • Require employees to wear cloth face coverings

    • Remind employees to practice good hand hygiene with frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing especially between contact with guests and guest items.

    • Where possible, stagger employee shifts and meal breaks to avoid crowding in common work areas. 

    • Ensure employees stay six feet apart whenever practical.

    • Adjust seating in break rooms and other common areas to reflect physical distancing practices.

    • Prohibit gatherings or meetings of employees of 10 or more during working hours.

    • Permit employees to take breaks and lunch outside, or in such other areas where physical distancing is attainable.

    • Do not allow employee food or drink in customer service areas. 

    • Limit interaction between employees and outside visitors or delivery drivers; implement touchless receiving practices if possible.

    • Adjust training/onboarding practices to limit number of people involved and allow for six foot spacing; use virtual/video/audio training when possible.

    • Limit sharing of handheld equipment, phones, desks, workstations, and other tools and equipment between employees to the extent possible.

    • Provide employees training:
    o physical distancing guidelines and expectations
    o monitoring personal health
    o proper wear, removal, disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    o laundering of face coverings and uniforms as listed below
    o cleaning protocols as listed below (or per CDC)
    o how to monitor personal health and body temperature at home.
    o guidance on how to launder cloth face coverings and uniforms: see CDC, Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility, How to Disinfect: Laundry
    o cleaning protocol, including how to safely and effectively use cleaning supplies.

    • Consider employee training in safe de-escalation techniques.


    • Guest visitation restricted to Maine residents and out of state visitors who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement as well as out of state essential workers at this time per executive order.

    • Call ahead or online reservations are required.

    • Inform guests of your COVID policies and procedures in advance, if possible.

    • Place signage at entrances and throughout the store alerting guests to COVID policies, especially to maintain 6 feet physical distance to the extent possible.

    • Require customers to wear cloth face coverings. This is especially important when social distancing is difficult (e.g. waiting in line for registration, entering or exiting, walking to the restrooms).

    • Restroom occupancy should be limited for group restrooms to incorporate physical distancing, and waiting lines outside of restrooms should be avoided.

    • At this time, any breakfast service should be packaged as “grab and go”. No buffets or self-service areas with multi-use items. 

    • Minimize other self-service areas such as drink stations. To the extent possible, use contact-less dispensers to minimize hand touching. Replace multi-use condiments with single-serve packets. Other suggestions to minimize multi-touch surfaces include providing single-wrap utensils, straws, and lids provided at any take-out or self-seating point of sale. Self-service areas require frequent cleaning and disinfection.

    • Self-service dispensers for coffee, drinks, juice, and ice should be routinely cleaned or discontinued at this time.

    • See Restaurant Guidance for restaurants on site. 

    • Group size is limited per executive order.


    • Curtail use of pools and exercise facilities until reopening guidance issued.

    • Follow restaurant checklist guidance. Room service is encouraged.

    • Practice enhanced room sanitation by cleaning and sanitizing all hard services after every use, linens, bedspreads and covers laundered. 

    • Following each departure, guest rooms will be left vacant for a period of time to allow for deep cleaning, disinfectant and cleaners to dry, and reasonable air exchange. Consider ways to maximize airflow, if practical, to increase fresh air circulation (e.g. opening windows, or doors).

    • Widen high-traffic areas to the extent possible

    • Note that staff or customer use of elevators or escalators will require regular attention to physical distance guidelines and frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.

    • Minimize shared touch surfaces such as kiosks, tablets, pens, credit cards, receipts and keys.

    • Establish procedure for regularly disinfecting inventory and newly received deliveries.

    • Establish protocols for handling and processing shipping and receipts (including disinfection).

    • Advise workers, contractors, drivers, and vendors that they are required by Executive Order #49 FY 19/20 to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises.

    • Notify vendors of re-opening, and any revised protocol as it relates to store entry, deliveries, paperwork, etc.

    • Consider implementing measures to ensure vendor safety, including:
    o Disabling/suspending access (e.g., suspending all non-employee truck drivers from entering restaurant).
    o Transitioning to contactless signatures/e-signatures for deliveries.
    o Where practical, adjusting store delivery windows to spread out deliveries.

    • Request that vendors direct their employees to follow all social distancing guidelines and health directives issued by the applicable public authorities.

    • Require regular and frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, handrails, doors, PIN pads, and common areas that are accessible to staff, guests, and suppliers.

    • Provide sanitization materials, such as sanitizing wipes, to employees to clean handhelds/wearables or other work tools and equipment before/after use.

    • Consider providing cleaning “kits” including disinfectant wipes or sprays, disposable or reusable gloves, paper towels, cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies are readily accessible throughout the hotel for areas that will be cleaned periodically throughout the day.

    • Note that areas of cleaning focus for general hotel areas include:
    o Door and drawer handles
    o Light and other power switches (consider signage to keep lights on at all times, or utilizing exiting motion sensor capabilities)
    o Shared tools
    o Chairs, tables, and benches
    o Television remotes
    o Refrigerators, microwave, and other frequently touched objects and surfaces in service areas.
    o Time clocks
    o Entry way
    o Cash register, including touch screens, keyboards, mouse.
    o PIN Pads (touch screen, keypad, and pen).
    o Restrooms (toilet bowl, toilet paper holder, flush lever, sinks and faucets, paper towel holders and/or air dryers, diaper-changing stations.)

    • Note that vending machines are not recommended at this time due to the challenge of keeping surfaces clean. Automatic ice self-dispensing machines are acceptable.

    • Provide hand sanitizer in public areas for guest and employee use.

    • De-clutter paper amenities in guest rooms. Remove pen, paper and guest directory, magazines and brochures; supplement with digital or available upon request.

    • For contact tracing purposes, establishments should maintain a record including contact information for clients, and those personnel who had direct interaction with them.

    • Hotels should maintain records that will help trace contacts of any infected individuals that have been to the hotel property. Review and implement a record keeping process to maintain records of guest and staff movement.



    • Promote “Contactless” payment options.

    • Wash hands or use alcohol based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) after handling cash.

    • Consider adding physical barriers such as partitions or plexiglass barriers at registers.