Governor Hogan announces $180 million in economic relief, limits travel to essential purposes

Posted at 5:18 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 23:16:04-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Hogan provided an update on the coronavirus in Maryland on Thursday.

The governor urged the public to make sacrifices and stay home for the holidays. He said he wants families to celebrate the holidays safely.

“Our strongest defense against this virus continues to be the cooperation and the vigilance of the people of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “However, this holiday season could present perhaps our toughest challenge yet. Our message today is simple: you are safer at home for the holidays this year. Making difficult sacrifices during these next few weeks will absolutely help to keep your family, loved ones, and your fellow Marylanders safe.”

Marylanders are required to limit travel to essential purposes only. If Marylanders travel outside of the state they are required to obtain a negative COVID test or quarantine for ten days. This applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Hogan says he has issued a special emergency order that exempts Santa Claus, his elves and reindeer from any and all travel, testing, and quarantine requirements.

The governor is also encouraging businesses that are able to also institute telework policies and to limit in-person interactions as much as possible. He said the State of Maryland has instituted mandatory telework for state employees, and beginning Monday, December 21, they will be temporarily suspending all in-person, customer-facing operations at state facilities for the next 2 weeks.

He announced an additional $180 million in immediate emergency economic relief to help those families and small businesses that are being hit the hardest as well as $50 million for hotels and the hospitality business.

He is providing $30 million for restaurant relief, $15 million more in entertainment venues and $40 million to development disability providers.

“When the legislature returns to work next month for the 2021 session, we will also be proposing a larger economic and stimulus relief package, which will provide further support for our struggling families and small businesses,” the governor said.

“To save lives in this dangerous global pandemic, our city and state have taken dramatic actions including Thursday’s announcement from Gov. Larry Hogan to block nonessential travel out of the region by executive order,” City Council President Nick J. Mosby said. “Now that these hard decisions have been made, I will work with our partners to develop legislative solutions in Baltimore to assist the city’s front line workers and small businesses, help families stay in their homes and find innovative ways to help all of us rebuild in the aftermath of this outbreak. Please stay home and stay safe. Lives depend on this. We are all in this together.”