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Maine Campgrounds Sue Governor Over Quarantine

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Two family owned campgrounds in Maine – Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarborough and Little Ossipee Campground in Waterboro – have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Janet Mills in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, arguing that the state’s 14-day quarantine rule for anyone entering the state is unconstitutional.

The two businesses are joined by a handful of individual plaintiffs, who allege the self-quarantine rule is interfering with their right to travel into the state. The lawsuit also notes that neighboring New Hampshire, another popular New England vacation destination, has no such law in effect.

“Both the Maine and federal Constitution guarantee individuals the right to travel to and from states,” reads a statement issued by the plaintiffs’ attorney. “The Supreme Court has previously referred to the right to travel as “‘virtually unconditional.’”

According to the attorney, the quarantine in its current form requires everyone crossing the Maine border to self-quarantine for 14 days “regardless of whether that person poses any legitimate risk of spreading COVID-19.” That interferes with their ability to attract out-of-state customers, the campgrounds said.

The lawsuit goes on to say that between March 16 and May 20 of this year, Bayley’s Campground has received 715 reservation cancellations due to the quarantine period and it has refunded $153,182 in reservation fees. Little Ossipee Campground has seen a decrease in revenue of $94,428 due to customers cancelling as a result of the 14-day self-quarantine period.

“Governor Mills’ executive orders violate the right of interstate travel guaranteed by the privileges and immunities clause of the United States Constitution and 14th Amendment, among other constitutional claims,” the lawsuit states.

Further, the lawsuit also challenges the Governor’s Rural Reopening Program, calling it “a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of both the Maine and federal Constitution. The Rural Reopening Program, in essence, selects winners and losers for this 2020 tourist season and thereby unlawfully discriminates based solely on the geographic location of the business.”

While the lawsuit works its way through the courts, Bayley’s Camping Resort is having all of their seasonals and visiting campers sign upon entering the campground.

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