PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine is restoring pre-pandemic requirements that people show they’re looking for a job to receive unemployment benefits, the state’s Department of Labor announced Thursday.

With vaccines widely available, businesses are reopening and need help especially with the summer tourism season approaching, Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said in a statement.

“Thousands of Maine people lost their jobs during the pandemic, through no fault of their own. Now it is our goal to get them back to work,” she said.

Work search requirements had been relaxed because of the pandemic, but now unemployment recipients will have to show they are actively looking for work and willing to accept jobs for which they’re qualified.

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In many cases, people receiving unemployment benefits can go back to work part-time and still retain the $300 weekly stipend offered by Congress through this summer, she said.

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