PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — L.L. Bean's flagship store returned to 24-hour operations and Amtrak's Downeaster resumed its full schedule on Monday, marking moves toward normalcy during the pandemic.

Amtrak's expanded schedule includes a new southbound train which will depart Brunswick mid-morning and a new northbound train which will depart Boston mid-afternoon.

In Freeport, meanwhile, workers removed the locks Monday as L.L. Bean's flagship store resumed around-the-clock sales.

The store had been operating on limited hours after Bean briefly closed all stores last year during the pandemic.

Returning to 24-hour operations marks an important milestone for the company during the pandemic, restoring a tradition that dates to 1951, said Shawn Gorman, company chairman.

In other pandemic-related news:


The number of infections continues to trend downward in Maine.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new infections in Maine has not increased over the past two weeks, going from 475 new cases per day on April 17 to 296 new cases per day on May 1.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 245 new infections and one death on Monday.



A large vaccination clinic at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor will close later this month, officials said Monday.

Thursday is the last day first doses of the vaccine will be available at the Cross Center, and it'll close for good on May 27, according to the Northern Light Health. The Cross Insurance Center venue opened on Feb. 2.

Northern Light Health Center on Union Street will start offering first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on May 11 as the hospital system switches to vaccinating people in smaller settings.

Nearly two-thirds of Mainers 16 and older have now received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.



The Maine International Film Festival is returning this summer with a mix of in-person and virtual events.

With the pandemic, moves that are normally screened at Railroad Square Cinema and the Waterville Opera House were moved to the nearby Skowhegan Drive-In Theater and online last summer.

This summer, movies will be screened at all three of those locations, as well as online, from July 9 to July 18, the Morning Sentinel reported.

To protect attendees’ safety during the ongoing pandemic, indoor movie showings will have capacity limits and require social distancing and protective masks.