Portland City Manager Jon Jennings announced today he is instituting a mandated curfew for establishments where groups gather from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM on Tuesday, March 17-18 and then daily from 8:00 PM until 2:00 AM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (March 18 - 22) in light of the need to practice social distancing in order to lessen the community spread and flatten the curve of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The all day curfew on Tuesday is intended to curb St. Patrick’s Day events and festivities, but take-out and delivery of food is still permitted.
The City is also strongly recommending all restaurants close to dine-in customers, or dramatically limit the number of customers, and provide takeout or delivery options only for the foreseeable future. While this is the preferable option, the City understands that some restaurants may not be set up to do so. Additionally, the City recommends that all gyms and fitness studios close.
“This is a time of shared sacrifice for all of us, and we must be willing to alter our daily lives for now,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “We need everyone to take COVID-19 very seriously in order to limit community spread in the greater Portland area and across the state. I understand the very difficult situation this puts our business owners in, but in a global pandemic, it cannot be business as usual. We simply cannot have large gatherings, such as in the Old Port. We need your help in confronting the coronavirus. We will continue to reassess as we go forward and provide updates as they are available.”
“As I said on Friday, I want us to be aggressively cautious in the face of this global pandemic, and as such I’m fully supportive of the measures the City Manager is mandating and recommending in order for us to do what we can to protect our community’s public health,” Mayor Kate Snyder said. “We all have an obligation to do what we can to slow the spread, and thus the impacts of this virus, and this requires us to practice social distancing.”
Portland’s City ordinance (Chapter 2-406) authorizes the City Manager to issue an emergency proclamation when a civil emergency exists. Chapter 2-408 allows for emergency powers to protect life and property, restrict the movement of persons within the city, and other regulations necessary to preserve the public peace, health, and safety.
Due Date Pushed Back for Property Tax Payments & Stormwater Payments
The City will delay the deadline for property tax, personal property, and stormwater payments until June 1 with no interest. We understand this is the most difficult time of the year from a cash flow perspective for many of our businesses and want to be as supportive as possible for small businesses in the city, and respectful to those individual property owners who may be experiencing economic difficulty or uncertainty during this time.
With the announcement by Governor Mills requesting an extension of unemployment insurance and access to federal funding for small businesses, the City has been working with the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce to provide detailed information for businesses to access funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration as well as unemployment insurance for workers as needed.
Accessing Other City Services During City Hall Two Week Closure
Birth, Death & Marriage Certificates
The City Clerk’s Office is not allowed to process these online due to state regulations. The public can call the Clerk’s Office at 207-874-8610 or email email@example.com to handle these requests via postal mail.
All marriage ceremonies scheduled at City Hall have been cancelled for now.
Business Licensing & Housing Safety
The City is also delaying the renewal of business licenses, taxi licenses, food trucks, push carts, and tour drivers until such time the City can be fully operational again.
Renewals for liquor licenses can be done via email by contacting Business Licensing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For anyone needing emergency housing safety inspections -- such as no heat, power, water -- please call 207-874-8575 or email email@example.com
The City is working with the Southern Maine Landlord Association to provide guidance to its members and renters during this emergency time.
Street Maintenance Parking Regulations
The City will continue to make necessary adjustments as required to keep everyone safe and to do our best to prevent community spread of the coronavirus. We need everyone, young and old, to take this virus very seriously. By distancing ourselves from one another we can prevent a wider outbreak in our region.
The public is encouraged to stay up to date on the latest information from the Maine CDC. The City is posting information related to COVID-19 resources on a dedicated page at https://www.portlandmaine.gov/COVID19.