ANNAPOLIS, Md. — New social gathering restrictions will take affect in Anne Arundel County Friday night at 5 p.m.
Restaurants and bars won't be allowed to seat anyone inside after 10 p.m. nightly.
County Executive Steuart Pittman will officially sign the order Thursday evening.
Additionally, the directive will reimpose crowd limits to indoor and outdoor social gatherings.
Outdoor events will not be allowed to exceed 50 people, while indoor functions can only have a capacity of 25 people.
The county classifies social gatherings as parties, cookouts, concerts, parades, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, and other gatherings that are not associated with a business.
The order does not include retail stores, offices, restaurants, fraternal social clubs, youth sports, casinos, or religious services as social gatherings.
Under the new order, food courts in malls will have to shutdown seating and only offer takeout.
Finally, the North Arundel Aquatic Center in Glen Burnie, will remain closed until further notice after positive cases were detected among staff and members.
Violators could also face a stiffer civil penalty of $500 for a first offense. In his order, Pittman said enforcement will be increased.
Currently the county's positivity rate sits below 5 percent, despite trending upwards the last two weeks.
Since restrictions were lifted on June 19, the infection rate has risen from 0.80 to 1.25 as of July 22.