BALTIMORE — Baltimore City is pumping the breaks and backing it up on indoor businesses.
Mayor Jack Young announced new restrictions as COVID cases are nearing record highs.
Everywhere that people can come inside— retail, restaurants, malls, places of worship, casinos are now only allows to have 25% capacity.
If you’re having people over you can’t have more than 10 at any time in door or outside.
And all restaurants have to close by 11 pm.
Restaurants also may not serve customers who are not seated and eating and may not serve customers beverages in indoor seating areas if they are not also eating.
Mick O’Shea’s on Charles Street is a meeting ground for people to take a load off and enjoy good food and drinks.
“Probably the greatest part about is the people,” said owner David Niehenke. "That’s the clientele that has supported us through this pandemic. The staff that have shown up everyday and dealt with all the ups and downs that come along with it.”.
On Friday Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young announced that all restaurants and other business that have people coming inside have to go back to 25% capacity.
“We’re kinda already operating at that,” said Niehenke. “The ten o’clock probably stings a lot worse than that especially because it’s happening 3 days before the Ravens night game, which we’ll have to kick everyone out before half time. It is what it and just like everyone else we gotta keep our chins up and keep going and you know try to get through this together.”
This comes a day after Governor Larry Hogan urged Marylanders in a news conference to stay vigilant in following safety guidelines.
This week there have been more than 4500 new cases including around 600 in Baltimore City where 5 people have died since Monday.
The Mayor says the city will announce details on new grants Monday specifically for restaurants.
A total of $6.5 million in state grants for city restaurants
The application period will be from November 12 through the 24th.
You can apply by clicking here.
In addition to the new Phase I restrictions, the Mayor and Health Commissioner announced revisions to the City’s Health Order requiring residents to wear face-coverings.
Under the revised order, people in Baltimore City who are 2 years of age or older will be required to wear face coverings when they are in public spaces indoors or outdoors, unless they fall under one of the exceptions listed in the order, which can be found here.
An individual's nose and mouth need to be covered by the face covering.
In a statement from the Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM) in response to Mayor Young's recent restrictions imposed on restaurants, they stated:
“Baltimore City’s decision to decrease indoor dining capacity in restaurants to 25% is not based on data. In September the counties surrounding Baltimore City all increased their restaurant capacities to 75% while the City has remained at 50%. Nearly two months after that decision, it is Baltimore City reporting large increases in COVID cases. It would seem to reason that if restaurants were the cause of COVID spread, then the counties with increased dining capacities would have seen significant increases in COVID cases instead of Baltimore City. Yet the opposite appears to be true. No matter how often local officials try to refer to restaurants as a cause of COVID spread, the data does not support that conclusion.
Restaurants agree that the significant increase in COVID cases in Baltimore City is, as the Commissioner of Health Dr. Letitia Dzirasa stated, “alarming and requires action.” However, restricting restaurants will not stop the spread of COVID. A more targeted approach is needed instead of severely restricting all restaurants in the City to the point where more permanent closures and employees losing their jobs will be inevitable.”