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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott expected to make decision on indoor-dining ban

Restaurant owners waiting to reopen dining rooms
outside dining.jpg
Posted at 9:19 AM, Jan 08, 2021

BALTIMORE, Md. — A decision whether Baltimore City will lift its ban on indoor dining is expected Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott said he would give an update on COVID restrictions for restaurants by the end of the week.

Restaurant owners are more than ready to welcome their customers back.

They've tried everything from having parklets or cutting back their menus but they also have saidbeing able to only offer takeout or delivery is killing their business.

It's been a long month for restaurant owners who missed out on all their customers who have liked to go out to eat and celebrate the holidays.

The holidays also led to a spike in case COVID case numbers. After Thanksgiving, it also led to more restrictions.

On Scott's first full day in office as the new mayor of Baltimore City, he announced an order to close restaurant's to in-person dining.

It was done as a precaution to rising case numbers following the Thanksgiving holiday.

The order went into effect December 11th. Case numbers are now down about 20 percent but people have celebrated Christmas and New Year's since the new restrictions in early December.

Health officials have concerns that people continued their holiday gatherings.

The end of the fourth week of the ban has restaurant owners hoping it will signal the end of the restrictions.

On Tuesday, Mayor Brandon Scott said "I’m cautiously optimistic about our trends based on what we’ve seen from the cases. However, what we have consistently seen is spikes in cases following holidays like Thanksgiving Hanukkah and Christmas."

"We will look at the data and make a decision based on health data and health data alone. This is a health emergency," Scott said.

The mayor's press conference is scheduled for 2 o'clock Friday afternoon.

WMAR-2 News will stream it on Facebook Live so viewers can find out what the mayor decides as he makes his announcement.