Maine lifts restrictions on travelers from Massachusetts

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A doctor shows a negative quick coronavirus test in a tent set up at the entrance of a hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Venezuela is going about testing its citizens unlike any other country: Mass deployment of a rapid blood antibody test from China that checks for proteins that develop a week or more after someone is infected, while using on a much smaller scale the gold-standard nasal swab exam that detects the virus from the onset. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine has lifted restrictions on travelers from Massachusetts that had required the visitors to produce a negative coronavirus test or quarantine for two weeks.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said the change went into effect Wednesday. Massachusetts joins New York, New Jersey and all the New England states except Rhode Island on Maine’s exempt list.

The governor’s office said the state made the change after examining the prevalence of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts. The state has similar rates to Connecticut and New York, the office said.

“We congratulate our friends to the south on their progress in mitigating the spread of the virus and ask them to continue to take all the appropriate precautions, as we know they will, to protect their health and safety and that of Maine people,” Mills said.

Maine was part of Massachusetts until 1820. A host of celebrations had been planned for this year, but they were scuttled by the pandemic.

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