Just a couple of short weeks ago, Maine was making national headlines for how well we were doing with COVID-19 cases. Things were looking good. Until they weren't. We're second waving so hard we did a 180 and cases are spreading faster here than anywhere else in the country.

This completely changed how Maine was tackling reopening the state. Just a short time before bars got the green light to reopen, they were put back on red.

One big change was to restaurants. Until this point patrons of restaurants were required to wear masks while walking to and from tables but were able to go maskless once seated. As of November 5th, this is no longer the case.

According to COVID-19 Prevention Checklist Industry Guidance:

Customers must wear face coverings at all times, including when seated at the table, except while eating or drinking. Customers are strongly encouraged to put on their face covering any time there is waitstaff at the table (e.g., when taking orders, delivering food or drink, busing tables). Customers must wear face coverings when interacting with employees at a pick-up window, curbside pick-up area, or drive-thru.

To reiterate the obvious, yes, it's okay to take your mask off while eating or drinking.

As a former service industry worker, please, obey the rules or don't go out. I can assure you the restaurant workers don't want to play mask police but right now, it's their job to inform you of the state mandates and not serve you if you don't comply. If they don't they could lose their job and trust me, Joe Schmo, you are not worth losing a job over. Please, be mindful of these new rules whether eating inside or grabbing takeout.

Hopefully, this change won't be in place long and we can slowly go back to a sense of normalcy.

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