COVID-19 Travel Update and what to expect when you arrive
February 2021 Update
As vaccine distribution continues to roll out across the country and the world, we’re beginning to receive inquiries about how vaccinations may change travel restrictions. Currently, there is no change in travel restrictions for out-of-state visitors to Maine regardless of their vaccination status. Here is a statement from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development:
“The rules requiring quarantine or a recent negative test for travelers from states other than New Hampshire and Vermont were established by an executive order from Gov. Mills and remain in place. They reflect an abundance of caution based on the discovery of COVID-19 variants in other states, the small percentage of potential travelers who have had both doses of the vaccine, the length of time required for the vaccine to become fully effective after the second dose, and other public health considerations. As more people become fully vaccinated and as scientists learn more about the variants and the effectiveness of vaccination against them, travel rules could be reviewed.”
January 2021 Update
Travelers from New Hampshire and Vermont may still visit Maine without any restrictions.
Visitors from all other locations must complete and present to the lodging establishment a Certificate of Compliance for Maine Visitors stating that they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms nor been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 in the last 10 days. Additionally, visitors will certify that they have received a negative antigen or molecular result on a test taken up to 72 hours before their arrival in Maine, OR they have received a positive PCR test within the last 3 months and have completed their period of isolation, OR they will quarantine in Maine during their stay for up to 10 days, OR they have already quarantined in Maine for at least 10 days.
Maine’s CDC is now recommending that all children over 12 months be tested. This seems to be a recommendation rather than a requirement.
Important note: Please note that although the Certificate of Compliance provides an option for visitors to quarantine during their time in Maine, it is not possible for guests to quarantine at most inns and hotels due to unavoidable contact with staff and other guests. The quarantine option is feasible for private home and cottage rentals, campgrounds without common use facilities, etc.
Challenges with COVID-19 Testing in Your State?
For travelers who are looking forward to traveling to Maine but whose home states don’t offer easily accessible testing or timely test results, Maine may have some options for you:
- The COVID-19 Rapid Test Facility is no longer available at York Hospital’s Walk-In Care location at 343 US Route One in York, but a number of Walgreen’s locations in southern Maine are offering antigen testing to individuals with results available in about an hour. Cost is $129 unless covered by your insurance.
- Rapid testing is also available with 1-hour results at the Portland Jetport, just 30 minutes north of Kennebunk. No symptoms, no doctor’s orders required. Fee is $25. Appointments are required and can be made at https://CovidTestForME.com/jetport.
And some great news for travelers from Massachusetts: Stop the Spread testing sites are operating in dozens of locations! These sites support testing of asymptomatic individuals and testing is FREE to all Massachusetts residents. No doctor’s orders are required and results are often turned around in as little as 24 hours.
We are so grateful that the state of Maine has reopened safely and that The Inn at English Meadows has been able to welcome back our valued guests since mid-summer! With so much information out there, changing sometimes from week to week and certainly from state to state, this travel climate can be confusing. I’m hoping this page will be of assistance to our guests when you’re ready to travel again. This page will be updated regularly with information to:
- Keep you informed about the current policies for visitors to the state of Maine
- Let you know what the Inn and many other Kennebunkport area businesses are doing to help keep you and the community safe and healthy, and
- Offer a preview of what to expect on your upcoming visit to the Inn. That term, “new normal” is so overused these days, and this has all been anything but normal! Let’s just call it “things you may notice that may be different from previous visits.” These are the things that we’ll be doing differently here for a while, to keep our guests, our staff and our communities as safe as possible as you finally begin to leave your homes for a much needed change of scenery, some actual R&R, and maybe a lobster roll or two...
Maine launched the Keep Maine Healthy plan in the summer of 2020 to protect Maine’s people and its visitors, and support Maine’s small businesses by reducing, as much as possible, COVID-19 risks associated with travel. The Inn’s responsibility in this plan is to collect and keep on file the Certificates of Compliance as directed and to follow all CDC guidelines including the safety checklists published by Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development.
Please note that although the Certificate of Compliance provides an option for visitors to quarantine during their time in Maine, it is not possible for guests to quarantine at most inns and hotels due to unavoidable contact with staff and other guests. The quarantine option is feasible for private home and cottage rentals, campgrounds without common use facilities, etc.
The Kennebunkport Promise to support Health and Safety
Here in the Kennebunks, the vast majority of our small businesses depend on tourism. To ensure all visitors to our towns are free to enjoy themselves, our local hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions have been working hard to make our towns cleaner and safer than ever. In signing on to the Kennebunkport Promise, businesses are committing to even more stringent guidelines than what the state requires of us. And the great news is, as of June 17th here’s what’s open around the area:
- Beaches – for active use, swimming, surfing and sunbathing. The Inn has number of Kennebunk beach parking passes available for guests to borrow.
- Restaurants - for inside dining and outside dining with reservations required. Most are also offering curbside pickup, some are delivering. If you don’t want to dine in, the Inn’s lovely grounds are ready for your “takeout picnic.”
- Shops and Museums – numbers of guests inside at one time will be limited based on square footage, and face coverings are required.
- Walking and hiking trails
- Bicycle and Kayak rentals
- Boat tours
Enhanced Safety at the Inn
The Inn at English Meadows has always maintained the highest standards of cleanliness and food safety. My staff and I remain committed to upholding these high standards and will be taking extra precautions so you can feel at ease during your stay. During these times of physical distancing, and frequent handwashing and sanitizing, we’re implementing creative ways to continue to provide our guests with our traditional high level of service but with less person to person contact.
Check In: To avoid guests gathering inside while waiting to check in, we’ll meet you outside!
- Please park your vehicle and call the inn 207-967-5766 when you arrive. I’ll put on my mask and meet you out by the patio. Please have your facial coverings ready, as you’ll need them when walking through public inside areas of the inn and outside when physical distancing isn’t possible.
- Our check-in “spiel” will be minimal – I’ll give you a quick tour if you’re new to the inn, show you our breakfast and morning coffee areas, and show you to your room. Your welcome gift bag will include a letter outlining some of the COVID safety guidelines we're following, new processes that have been implemented, and lots of area information that you are encouraged to take with you. I’m always happy to recommend our favorite restaurants! Just ask.
- Due to rooms being left vacant for several hours before cleaning to ensure housekeeping staff safety, early check ins will not be possible. If you happen to arrive early, please feel free to park in our lot and enjoy walking around town until 3PM.
- As always, please contact us to make late check in arrangements if you anticipate arriving after 6PM.Self-check-in instructions will be provided if guests prefer.
The Inn and rooms:
- Our housekeeping staff will not be entering rooms once guests have checked in. We will be providing housekeeping needs by request, including replacement or additional towels and amenities, bottled water, etc. which will be delivered to the room.
- Guestroom amenities may be customized to your specific requirements. Bathrobes and slippers? Throw blanket? Beach Towels? Wine Glasses and opener? Ice Water Carafe? Extra set of Towels? Extra soap? You may let us know ahead of time what you will use, or prefer not to have in your room, during your stay to help us minimize waste.
- Rooms will be left vacant for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours, before our housekeeping staff enters to clean and disinfect.
- All bed linens, including pillow protectors, will be laundered between guests.
- After our normal diligent cleaning and disinfecting of the room and bathroom, every hard surface, including doorknobs, furniture, light switches, lamps, TV remotes, alarm clocks, etc. will be wiped down with a non-chemical 70% alcohol FDA approved all-natural disinfectant.
- All soft surfaces, including upholstered furniture and throw pillows, will be disinfected with this same non-chemical, FDA approved 70% alcohol disinfecting spray.
- Last year, the inn converted to refillable pump bottles for guest toiletries to reduce waste and plastic. AS ALWAYS, the pumps and exterior surfaces of these bottles are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guests. Guests who are not comfortable with the multi-use bottles are of course welcome to bring their own toiletries.
- Finally, room keys will be disinfected and left in the guestroom before the door is locked. The next person to enter this room will be the registered guest.
- High touch common areas of the inn will be similarly disinfected several times throughout the day.
- Multi-use items like books, games, and playing cards have been removed. Guests are encouraged to bring their own books and games to enjoy during their stay.
Temporary changes to our dining service:
- Morning Coffee: Our self-service beverage stations have been eliminated, for now, in keeping with state food service guidelines. We’ll be offering walk-up morning coffee and tea service through our patio kitchen window from 7 – 8:30 AM. Just remember to wear your mask and maintain physical distance of 6 feet between other guests!
- Breakfast service: Our full service 3-course breakfast will be just as delicious as always but may be presented differently. Two courses may be plated together to reduce contact and time at the dining table. All staff members will be wearing masks, and the latest Maine guidelines require seated guests to also wear their masks unless they're eating or drinking.
- If we have more than guests in house than we can safely seat at once, we will schedule separate breakfast seatings and take reservations for specific times. This will allow us to ensure that tables and chairs are cleaned and disinfected between guests. When you arrive at breakfast you may sit at any table that is set and we ask that you not move place settings as they will be placed to allow for 6' between guests of different parties.
- Our plates, mugs, glassware and silverware are always sanitized in a commercial dishwasher. If they’ve been placed on a table or in a guestroom, they will be re-washed and sanitized between guests. There will be no multi-use items or condiments at the breakfast tables. Placemats and napkins are also washed and sanitized after every guest.
- The Inn at English Meadows has two Serv-Safe certified individuals on staff, including myself. As always, at least one of us will be present in the kitchen managing breakfast service every day. Our kitchen staff is very small and can easily be monitored.
- Afternoon cookies will still be freshly baked every day; for now they will be individually wrapped.
Please feel free to call me at 207-967-5766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions as we continue to monitor the advice and direction of the CDC and the Maine Health Department.
My staff and I deeply appreciate the trust you place in us when you travel. We’ve missed you and we all look forward to seeing you soon!