COVID-19: City of Portland, Maine Issues Stay at Home Emergency Order

Pierce Atwood LLP

Pierce Atwood LLP

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the City of Portland, Maine issued an order that continues the state of emergency first issued on March 16, 2020, and that further requires all residents to stay at home and all non-essential businesses and services in Portland to shut down. Additionally, the order recommends that Portland residents not advertise or encourage the use or rental of short-term rentals for vacation purposes or otherwise. The order took effect on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5:00 PM, and lasts for five days.


The order mandates that all Portland individuals must stay in their place of residence, and persons using shared or outdoor spaces must maintain social distancing. Persons may leave their residence to access COVID-19 Essential Services, which includes all travel to and from COVID-19 Essential Services (foot, bicycle, automobile, public transit, among others). A list of COVID-19 Essential Services can be found in Exhibit A, which is attached to the order. In addition, outdoor exercise and dog walking is permitted, but individuals should continue to practice social distancing protocols.

The following persons are excluded from this order:

  • Police officers, peace officers, firefighters, EMS, or other emergency personnel or civilians engaged in police or emergency work.
  • Persons performing essential governmental functions.
  • Health care providers or workers traveling to or coming from work assignments in hospitals or other health care facilities whether in or outside of Portland.
  • Authorized representatives of any news service, newspaper or radio or television station or network.


All businesses that do not provide COVID-19 Essential Services must close their physical workspaces and facilities to workers, customers, and the public. However, such non-essential businesses may continue operations through remote means. In addition, non-essential businesses may continue to access their workspaces and facilities for functions including, but not limited to, processing mail, depositing checks, completing payroll and paying vendors. However, in these instances, businesses are required to continue to comply with social distancing protocols and have the fewest number of employees possible on the premises.


Businesses that do provide COVID-19 Essential Services are encouraged to remain open, and to the greatest extent feasible, comply with social distancing protocols and encourage remote working.


With so much information, so many decisions and so little time to address issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic, you need help at your fingertips. Click here for our most recent updates.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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